Lady Mavs Win Late

     The Lady Mavs opened their 2012 season at home against Boiling Springs.  The girls started well, controlling the midfield and holding a strong back line.  The Mavs found early success through the middle with Haley Dunham feeding Sarah Tuggle, whose shot from the top of the box brushed the outside of the left post.  Moments later Ragan Hill laid a ball back to an overlapping Tera Dolan who crossed the ball to Haley at the spot.  Her turning volley went just over the crossbar.  The increased pressure soon paid off when Ragan collected a loose ball at the top of the box and played it back to Gina Cardenas. Gina took a touch to settle and then let fly a 35 meter shot that arced over the outstretched keeper.  The Mavs continued to attack with Brianna Knapp getting a breakaway shot on goal, Amanda Basabe testing the keeper low, and Sarah just missing a free kick left.

     The girls started the second half where they left off and nearly doubled their lead when Ragan headed an early corner kick inches over the crossbar.  Sarah, Ragan and Tera all had their close range chances spoiled by a disciplined back four.  On the Bulldogs first counter-attack of the match, Juliana Traurig put in a brave tackle to stop the speedy number 14.  After the Mavs worked their way back up the field for a couple shots, Boiling Springs was able to clear the ball deep behind the drawn-up Mav defense.  Number 14 used all her speed to track the ball down, turn and cross it to an open Bulldog.  Cameron Clary was able to hustle and block the first shot but the rebound fell to the shooter’s feet and she placed the ball past an outstretched Caitland Considine to get the equalizer against the run of play.  

     The Mavs responded by applying more pressure and became more aggressive.  They continued to control back and middle thirds of the field but a packed-in defense limited the good Mav chances to a couple fast breaks, long shots and a good header from a corner.  A super save by the Bulldog keeper just kept out a free kick played to the far post.  The constant winning of clearances and working the ball back up chewed away precious minutes and brought everyone up into the attack.  The Mavs almost suffered as a result when a pass was intercepted at midfield and booted long for the speedy number 14 to run on.  As she sped to goal, Amanda Martin gave chase and caught her just as she tried to shoot, forcing the shot just wide of the left post.  The girls regrouped and began to assert themselves.  Maggie Cowley won a 50/50 ball with the keeper, but lost the call for a foul.  The keeper smothered Sarah’s free kick and a centerback blocked Ragan’s shot.  As the clock froze at 2 minutes remaining, the Mavs went all in.  Cameron’s challenge caused a loose ball that Tori Pilgrim stretched to touch toward Ragan.  Ragan’s tackle sent the ball free where Gina moved it left and Tori stepped in to slide it to Sarah near the top of the box.  Sarah took a touch to bring the ball across to her right and then fired her shot over the keeper and just under the crossbar for the dramatic late winner with only 30 seconds left to play.  A couple touches after the restart brought a final whistle and the end of a dramatic win for the Lady Mavs.