Merrill Girls Soccer – playing hard on defense, but looking for a score
TINA L. SCOTT
The Merrill Girls Soccer Team took on SPASH on Tuesday, June 1.
The Merrill girls took 6 shots on goal, but SPASH took 13 and ultimately, SPASH nailed 1. leaving the Merrill girls scoreless.
Merrill had three fouls, while SPASH had four. Corner kicks: Merrill two and SPASH three. Vanessa Bayer of Merrill did a great job with 12 saves, but unfortunately that one slipped past to score. SPASH had six saves.
“This was a tough one to take,” said Head Coach Kyle Hahn. “The girls played hard and had opportunities, but we couldn’t quite execute our game plan to get the goals we needed.”
“Kelly Page, Audrey Ladewig, Amelia Skoviera and Rebecca Rell did a great job limiting SPASH’s opportunities,” he said. “We would’ve been looking at a clean sheet were it not for an unfortunate handball in the box that gave SPASH a decisive PK.”
“Lydia Koehler also did a great job shielding our back four and shutting down plenty of attacks through the middle,” Coach Hahn added. “McKenna Smith was our biggest threat up top, taking a handful of shots that either went wide or their keeper saved. All in all, a great effort by our girls, even if we didn’t secure the outcome we were hoping for.”
Merrill 0 @ SPASH 1
On Thursday, May 27, Wausau West was really kicking it against the Merrill Lady Jays. On the offense, Merrill girls only took 1 shot on goal, while the Wausau West girls took 17 chances and nailed 10 of them in the first half. Anna Bowe worked hard and made seven saves, but it wasn’t enough.
“Weather hasn’t been much of an issue for us this season, but it clearly affected our ability to compete in this game,” Coach Hahn said. “We just didn’t have it from the start and wound up down 10 by halftime. We were offered the opportunity to end the game at half time, but our girls wanted to give it a go for another 15 minutes and showed some renewed grit and determination. West didn’t score a goal in the second half, and we managed to set up a few opportunities in our attacking third, forcing three corner kicks in the process.”
Merrill 0 @ Wausau West 10
Tuesday, May 25, was Merrill vs. Wausau East. In another tough game, Merrill took three shots on goal, but the Wausau East girls saved them all. Wausau East took eight shots on goal, but Vanessa Bayer couldn’t quite save ‘em all, and Wausau East scored two goals, one in the first half and one in the second.
“This was a competitive game throughout, and our girls competed well over the course of 90 minutes,” the Coach said.
“The weather delayed our game over an hour, so there’s always the worry that we’d start out slow. But our girls seemed up for it from kick-off and played hard,” he said. “With the exception of a minor defensive lapse on their goal from open play and an unfortunate handball in the box with three minutes left, our girls put together a solid performance.
Merrill 0 @ Wausau East 2
On Friday, May 21, Girls Soccer took on Wisconsin Rapids.
In this game, Merrill took 1 shot on goal, but Wisconsin Rapids took 22, and while Merrill’s Vanessa Bayer made 10 saves and Anna Bowe made another 3, it was the 9 that got past them that really hurt.
“Some days it just doesn’t happen for you and this was one of those days,” Coach Hahn said. “Rapids overpowered us physically and tactically, and we couldn’t seem to catch our breath. In a game where most things go wrong, I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had given up 10 goals and ended early, but our girls found a way to keep them at bay until the very end, ensuring we finished the whole 90.”
Merrill 0 @ Wisconsin Rapids 9
Tuesday, May 18, the Merrill Girls Soccer Team went up against DC Everest. Merrill took one shot on goal but came up empty, as Everest made the save. Everest took 20 shots on goal, and while Vanessa Bayer made 17 saves, the Everest girls got one past her in the first half and scored two goals in the second.
“We may have lost the game, but we played really well defensively,” Coach said. “We knew DC Everest was likely to score goals, but credit goes to the girls for sticking to and executing the game plan to limit their opportunities. McKenna Smith came back to play as an additional holding midfielder and did a great job working together with Kate Steckbauer to clog the middle in front of our back four.
Merrill 0 @ DC Everest 3