Jackson cracks Central's defensive strategy

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

The Central girls soccer team decided to use a lineup change in an attempt to slow down Jackson's speed and quickness advantage.

For the first 15 minutes of Tuesday night's game, the defensive lineup, which featured only one forward, worked as planned. However, once the Indians scored, they continued the onslaught in a 5-0 win.

Jackson improved to 12-2, while. Central fell to 9-5-1.

"We tried a little something different tonight, a lineup thing to negate some of their speed and possession up top," Central coach Tom Doyle said. "It worked for awhile, but once we get down a goal, we had to get away from it a bit. But, overall, the first 15 minutes I was pleased with the way we played."

Jackson's offense was unsuccessful in its attacks until Molly Hartmann was tripped in the middle of a crowd of Central defenders while attacking the left side of the goal. On the ensuing penalty kick, with less than 23 minutes left in the half, Hartmann beat a diving Chelsea Burns just inside the right post.

The Jackson attack throughout the contest overshadowed the nearly impenetrable Indian defense. Due in part to the conservative Tigers game plan and a strong defensive front, Jackson goalkeeper Kylie Werner was not required to make a single save.

However, right after Jackson took the 1-0 lead, Central mustered a brief offensive attack, with Meghan Orr missing wide right after stealing a ball from Lucy Hartmann. Then with 16:08 remaining in the half, Haley Pilsner appeared to have a clean shot on goal from just outside the box, but Lucy Hartmann headed the ball high and right of the goal.

"I thought our defense played real well," Jackson coach Zack Walton said. "Cape was not playing real aggressive on top, but our defense stepped up. There were a couple times where they had a girl on top one-on-one with Lucy, and she did a nice job back there playing defense."

The Indians added a second goal late in the half. Burns came charging out of the net to try and prevent Lucy Hartmann's long pass from reaching sophomore midfielder Erin Curtis, but the ball squirted past the diving Burns and Curtis was able to slide the ball ahead to Lauren Drewett for the empty-net goal.

Midway through the second half, Drewett added a second goal on a similar play for a 4-0 lead.

"Part of being a goalkeeper is the tough choice of, 'Do I go out or do I stay,' and if you come out, you better get the ball," Doyle said. "If you don't get the ball, you're probably going to pay the price."

Less than five minutes into the second half, after Tierra Walker knocked the ball away from Molly Hartmann in a one-on-one play, Shay Priester picked up the loose ball and beat a leaping Burns into the left corner. Curtis added the Indians' final goal in extra time from just outside the right side of the net.

The Indians also had an apparent goal from Jenni Tenholder taken away at the halfway mark of the second half, when she beat Burns high on an indirect off a two-touch penalty kick.

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