By Richard Fairman
The MCHS Ladywave soccer team knew that, if they were to keep pace with the high-powered, undefeated Elizabethtown Lady Panthers on Oct 7 in their last home game of the season, they were going to have to play the best they have all season. Meade’s defense knew that they were going to have to step it up, if they hoped to stop E-town’s offense from scoring. The Lady Panthers came into the game sporting a 9-0-1 record and have only allowed four goals the entire season. So this was going to be a great test for Meade prior to district play next week. Meade’s defense continued to keep the ball in front of them or force E-town to the outside, making it difficult to serve the ball into the box.
On the other side of the ball, Meade’s offense pounded the ball to the box, and caught a break midway through the first half on a corner kick from Ally Hearn. Hearn served the ball perfectly into the front of the goal where the E-town goalkeeper could not get a hand on it before Cyia Robertson booted it to the back of the goal, putting Meade on the board first.
With only minutes left in the half, E-Town took shot after shot, trying desperately to tie the game before the half, but Meade goalkeeper, Maddi Hebert, along with her defense, deflected shots or cleared the ball to keep a one goal lead into the half.
“I thought we moved the ball well in the first half, we took our time to set up, and was able to get one in the goal,” Coach Craycroft said about the first half of play. Craycroft also warned his team that by scoring that goal, while not allowing them to score, they had just poked a hornets nest, and they could expect E-town to come out in the second half with a vengeance.
That is exactly what E-town did. At the start of the second half E-town went on the attack and continued to get the ball up field to put pressure on Hebert. Midway through the second half, Hebert had to come out due to an injury she suffered when she collided with an E-town player trying to score. E-town came right back on the attack scoring on a set play where Meade’s replacement keeper did her best to knock the ball down, but missed on the short side, giving E-town the tying goal. After the goal, Hebert came back into the game, but the flood gates had been opened, and E-town was the water flowing through. Meade found themselves fighting to defend against E-town’s offensive power the remainder of the second half, but just could not get any breaks as E-town added three more goals to keep their undefeated record alive. Meade now stands at 5-7-1 with only one more game in the regular season.
“I told the girls that they had poked a hornet’s nest, but I thought that there were moments when we looked really good, but then we got tired, and we stopped moving as a unit. That is fatigue,” Craycroft said after the game. “If they wonder why I pressure them so hard in fitness, that’s why, the last 25 minutes we got worked by them. We got tired, and when we got possession of the ball, we kicked it to the center, and they turned it over. We just got out worked tonight.”