Streaks roll past Wildcats
Allen Moody | Highlands TodaySEBRING - The Sebring girls soccer team came out and dominated play right from the start against Hardee on Friday at Firemen's Field.
Published: December 2, 2012
Published: December 2, 2012
It was just a question of getting that domination to pay off, as the Wildcats managed to keep the Blue Streaks off the board for nearly 27 minutes before Sebring tallied the first of its three goals in a 3-0 nondistrict victory.
"It was one of those matches where we should have had five goals with all the chances we had," said Sebring coach Ritchie Birdsall. "I think we had close to 40 shots on goal, so to only come away with three goals, that part of it was a little disappointing."
Typically, when a team is going to control a match as much as the Blue Streaks did, the team has an idea that it is playing an overmatched opponent, but Birdsall said that wasn't the case.
"At the beginning of the game, I didn't know," he said. "Hardee has played a lot of people tough and we had four starters out. We went into the game with only 12 players, so we didn't know what we were going to have."
With the Blue Streaks keeping the ball on the Hardee side of the field, the defense didn't see a lot of action for long periods of time, but Sebring captain Mariana Becker said it's easy to stay focused.
"I'm always on alert because I have to keep watch of where my players are and make sure we're in the right position," she said.
The Blue Streaks were able to get on the scoreboard with 12:40 left in the first half when Julia Van Fleet drilled the ball past the Hardee goalkeeper from 12 yards out.
The Blue Streaks had several other solid scoring chances in the first half, but settled for their 1-0 lead.
It was more of the same in the second half, although it didn't take the Blue Streaks quite as long to score. Haylee Peters made it 2-0 with 28:30 remaining in the second half and Van Fleet added her second goal of the match less than a minute later.
"We had great teamwork and we passed really well," Becker said.
As the game wound down, Birdsall moved Becker from defense to forward.
"At the beginning of the season I had made the mistake and told my girls if we got up by three goals with about 10 minutes to go I would let some of the defensive players play up front, so that's why there was a little more cheering," Birdsall said. "They weren't trying to be rude or anything. The defensive players getting shots on goal is always exciting for the team."
Becker — who previously played forward — said she enjoys playing defense more.
"It was fun taking shots, but now that I'm playing center-defender, I'm the one blocking all of those shots," she said.
Birdsall said it was a good match for his team.
"I thought we passed the ball well tonight and we took a lot of shots," he said. "That's what we need to do more of, especially in district play."
Becker said the Blue Streaks were playing well and were going to work on their communication.
"I'm sure that we can still improve," she said. "I love my team right now and we've been working really well together and have come a long way."
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