October 12, 2011
Olympians blank T’burg on Senior Night
Karolina Holl/contributing photographer
Marathon’s Ellena Holl (5) races Trumansburg’s Hannah Murphy for the ball during Tuesday’s IAC soccer match-up. Holl had a goal as the host Olympians prevailed 2-0 on Senior Night.
MARATHON — It was Senior Day as Marathon Central girls took to Lovell’s Field for its final Interscholastic Athletic Conference North Division regular season soccer match Tuesday afternoon.
It would be fitting that senior Kaitlyn Morrison would score the game-winning goal and dish out an assist on an insurance goal as the Olympians posted a 2-0 victory over Trumansburg. Marathon improves to 11-2 overall with its regular season finale this afternoon at Groton at 4:30.
“It was a good night,” Marathon coach Trish Hayes said. “It was Senior Night and they all got time to play and contribute.”
Marathon had the better of play much of the first half, but never found the goal. Ellena Holl had the best opportunity as her shot near the end line was deflected out of bounds by Blue Raider goalkeeper Shannon Weber.
Trumansburg struggled to generate offense. The Blue Raiders best chance came with 1:48 left in the opening half, but Samantha Courtney made the save on the shot at the far right post.“We were able to stay disciplined on defense,” Hayes said. “That’s been our strength this season because we are able to counterattack from it very well.”
One of those defensive strengths, in addition to Courtney in goal, is junior Dani Pebbles on the back line.
“Last year we had Emily Icenogle back there and we worked Dani in there at times in preparation for this year,” Hayes said. “She stepped up well in those chances. This year, Dani was a little timid at the start of the season, but she has gained confidence and she is now taking control of the defense and playing very well.”
Trumansburg got the first two shots on goal for the second half. Jordan Trudell took the first shot two minutes into the half. The second was off the foot of Sarah Murphy towards the far post. Courtney (7 saves) dove to her left to keep the ball out of the netting and made the deflecting save.
From that point on Marathon looked to seize control. With 36:43 left in the match, Drew Barber, who was shook up in the opening minutes of the first half, but re-entered the game at the start of the second half, collected a loose ball in the box. The junior slid the ball to Morrison for a low shot inside the right post from about 18 yards out that broke the ice for the Olympians.
“It was important for momentum,” Morrison said of getting the first tally. “We needed to get a goal before they did so we weren’t back on our heels. We didn’t want them to get momentum, so it was good for us.
“I saw Drew open up with the ball,” she added in explaining the scoring play. “As she turned Drew said it was like the gods said ‘ahhhh.’ She gave me the ball, I turned and put the shot into the side netting.”
“Drew is a clutch player and one of our toughest girls out there,” Hayes said. “She was asking to go back in as we were bringing her off the field in the first half. She plays the bottom of the triangle for us and it’s her job to distribute the ball. I was worried when she went down.”
Six minutes later Barber ripped a shot that banged off the right post. Less than a minute after that, another Olympian shot was deflected out of play by Weber (7 saves).
Dangerous senior striker Ali Grunder got two good looks at the Marathon goal with 26 minutes to play. Both of her shots went over the cross bar as did another attempt by Trudell as the Olympians clung to the 1-0 advantage.
With 23:07 to play, Morrison won a ball near midfield. She settled the ball quickly and made a great through pass to Ellena Holl. The junior split two defenders and got a breakaway opportunity. As Weber came out to challenge, Holl slid the ball passed the keeper and into the goal for the 2-0 cushion.
Each team mustered just two more shots for the remainder of the game as much of the play was between the 18-yard marks. Courtney made two saves as did Weber.
“We are still working on finishing on the offensive end,” Hayes said. “We are working the ball on the wings better. We just need to finish stronger inside now, but it’s coming along.”
Morrison and her senior classmates Courtney, Gina Parrino, Molly Reilly, Emilee Reynolds and Morgan Rundle were honored in halftime ceremonies with their parents at this final regular season home match.
“It was nice to win senior night,” Morrison said. “We weren’t sure what to expect this season after losing so many players from last year. We have really pulled it together. I really think we’re going to be alright.”
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