Ellis soccer opens with shutout
Published 9:45 am Thursday, September 24, 2015
The Ellis girls soccer team started the season with authority, beating South Davie 9-0 on Sept. 16. It was the second straight mercy-rule loss for the 0-2 Tigers, who lost by the same score two days earlier to visiting Forbush.
Ellis built a 5-0 lead in the first half. Addyson Cox had three goals and Madison Smith two. Caroline Bliss, Emma Helton, Rachel Devereaux and Grace Smith had one each.
“All the girls played great,” said fourth-year Ellis coach Leah Reynolds, who guided Ellis to 8-2 in 2014, with both losses coming from Forbush. “We did a great job passing and talking to each other to move the ball around the field.”
Goalie Emma Patterson saved a penalty kick by South. Haley Campbell “played a strong defensive game, pushing the ball up the field,” Reynolds said.
Patterson, Campbell and Paige Riordan “made some great moves on defense to keep the ball away from Ellis’ goal,” she said.
Despite the lopsided score, South coach Louise Diemer, whose team is coming off an 0-8-1 season, saw several positives.
“We had many chances to score,” Diemer said. “(Goalie) Lexi Teale had great saves and beautiful punts to midfield. (Forward) Ingrid Cadena would collect the ball and pass off to either (center midfielder) Alexis Riddle or (forward) Karen Razo. They would give-and-go with each other, beat a few Ellis players and get a shot on goal. This happened multiple times in the first half and a few times in the second half. Our defense, led by Lexi Santos and Brenda Torres, played aggressive and stopped many offensive attacks from Ellis.”
After enduring a blowout loss from Forbush in its first game, North Davie’s girls broke a six-game losing streak with a 3-0 win at North Wilkes on Sept. 14.
Amber Strader and Blakely Freeman had all the goals and both assists. Strader provided the only goal in the first half. Freeman made it 2-0 and Strader later converted a penalty kick as the Wildcats picked up their first win since a 5-2 decision over South Davie in 2014.
Coach Martin Gant said “Reagan Shoemaker played great controlling the defense. Lluvia Cervantes is beginning to return to her aggressive form from last year.” Gant also mentioned the solid play of Grace Hurst.
Three days later, North Davie and Starmount had a wild 3-3 tie in Boonville. The Wildcats overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit and held a lead, only to watch Starmount answer with a tying goal.
“Nobody likes a tie, but it’s not a loss and I am proud of the way we played in the second half to come back and take the lead,” Gant said.
Freeman’s successful penalty kick at 33 minutes got North (1-1-1) on the board. Freeman assisted a Strader goal at 36 minutes, and Strader assisted a goal by Freeman to give North a 3-2 lead. Starmount tied it with seven minutes left.
“After halftime, we came out swinging,” Gant said. “We clawed back in and we kept the intensity going.”
For the season, Freeman and Strader have three goals each.
Getting goals from Zachary Moore and Jonas Frank, the Ellis boys were able to pull out a 2-0 win over South Davie on Sept. 16.
South sank to 0-4. It was the season opener for the Jaguars, who went 5-6-1 in 2014.
“Both teams played a quick and hard game,” Reynolds said. “We took a lot of shots on goal, but couldn’t quite get the ball to go where we wanted it to.”
Moore’s goal gave Ellis a 1-0 halftime lead. Frank put South away with five minutes remaining. Credit for the shutout goes to Joey Boyle and Josh Sutton, who split time at goalie.
“When South was near our goal, the defense did a great job of getting the ball back up the field with support from the midfielders,” Reynolds said. “Boyle, who was in goal in the first half, made some great saves, as did Sutton in the second half.”
The Tigers played three games in as many days. Earlier in the week in a pair of home games, they lost 5-1 to Forbush and 10-0 to Wesleyan. Ayden Horne scored against Forbush, with an assist from Danny Torres.