Mavs Bite the Bulldogs 3-0

     The Mavs travelled to a windy Bulldog Stadium looking to avoid the last second dramatics of their home opener.  The girls came out strong from the opening whistle and established their control over the match quickly.  Sarah Tuggle got the first shot on goal in the second minute and the girls never let up.  It only took twelve minutes for the solid passing and hustle on the ball to produce the opener.  Sarah dropped her corner kick at the center of goal and Emily Praktish just missed getting her head to it.  Lauren Young reacted quickly and touched the ball back to Emily for an easy tap in.  The Mavs continued their excellent hustle both on and off the ball, allowing the defense to set up at midfield.  Kathy Jones stepped in front of her mark and played a ball up to Emily.  After a couple of stepovers she was bowled over from behind.  Sarah sent the 35 meter free kick spot-perfect to Tera Dolan at the far post.  Tera neatly headed in and doubled the Mavericks’ lead.  Not content with two, the girls relentlessly attacked with Maggie Cowley and Emily both coming close at the posts.  Lauren took a nice pass from Maggie and forced an excellent save from the keeper.  Mauldin continued to show good touch and control, but as Boiling Springs packed in on the narrow pitch, the game began to lose its flow.  Haley Dunham’s hustle reopened space on the right and added some spark to close the half.

     Mauldin continued to create chances as Sarah, Tera, and Gina Cardenas had several opportunities within the first five minutes.  Julianna Traurig stepped forward and played a ball from the touchline to Ragan Hill at the top of the box.  Ragan used a touch to lift the ball before skillfully sending a side volley just wide of the right post.  The Mavs continued to open the Bulldog midfield with one and two-touch passing and probing balls forward.  Lauren and Gina barely missed heading in the third from a couple of the corner kicks.  The defense played high all night and returned any errant balls quickly back into the attack.  Caitland Considine had to wait until the 16th minute of the second period before getting her first touch from a long lazy clearance.  The constant pressure up front earned several free kicks and Gina headed inches over the bar from one of them.  The Mavs finished off the match when Meghan Meek threw quick to Amanda Basabe.  Amanda turned with the ball and used two touches to gain the center of goal.  She fired low to the right, beating a diving keeper at the post for the Mavs third goal with ten left to play.  The girls pushed for a fourth and almost had it when Gina dribbled a ball from midfield and found Tori Pilgrim in the corner.  Tori slipped the ball across the face of goal where a sliding Sarah Kate Phillips just missed tucking it in at the back post.  The Bulldogs’ only serious threat to goal came in the last seconds when Tera headed a freekick wide and the resulting corner was headed over the crossbar.  That brought the final whistle and a well earned road shutout for the Mavericks.