Mavs Close Out With a Cavalier Shutout 2-0

     The Mavericks welcomed Christ Church for the regular season finale and a chance to avenge their preseason result.  The girls looked composed and confident from the start.  The quality of their first touches and passes, as well as their hustle and movement on and off the ball was super.  The Mavs earned an early corner and Lauren Young’s header went close at the far post.  Maggie Cowley, Emily Praktish, Gina Cardenas and Tera Dolan all had excellent crosses that troubled the defense and created early chances.  The Mavs came close again when Lauren played a long ball from midfield, dropping it behind the defense.  Emily had beaten two defenders and fired a blistering shot from the corner of the 18 only to strike the outside corner of the woodwork.  Minutes later Gina cleared a ball long out of the back.  The defender slipped leaving Lauren a break on goal.  She caught the ball at the top of the box but pressure from the recovering defender forced Lauren’s shot inches wide.  For most of the first half the Mavs controlled the pitch from box to box.  Even when Christ Church had brief spells of possession, Kathy Jones and the back four stayed organized and disciplined, absorbing the pressure.  The Mavs finished the first half without allowing a shot on goal.

     The Cavaliers started applying more pressure on the ball in the second half.  It took a few minutes for the Mavs to adjust but soon they were connecting their passes and exploiting the space in front of the back four.  The Mavs worked hard through the midfield and kept the ball in the Cavalier half, patiently looking for a breach.  The Cavaliers attack had been reduced to long hopeful balls and an occasional run up a wing.  They did get their best chance of the evening from a deep throw on the left.  The Cav wing followed a bouncing ball and served a good cross square in front of goal.  Caitland Considine dove quickly to deny any chance at goal.  Caitland crushed the kick and the Mavs reestablished their assault on goal.  Lauren crossed a lovely ball across goal that Sarah Tuggle could not quite get her head to.  Both Julianna Traurig and Sarah had shots blocked in rapid succession at the six.  The intense pressure finally paid off.  Emily took a pass from Sarah and headed straight to the near post.  Three Cavaliers blocked her path and she somehow dropped the ball to Tera as she was taken down.  Tera chipped to the back post but the ball rolled wide.  Lauren collected the ball on the goal line and cut it back losing her defender.  She saw her chance and fired low and hard to the near post from an impossible angle.  The keeper did her best to squeeze the ball at the post but there was too much pace and the Mavs had a well-deserved lead with twelve to play.  Emily repeatedly twisted through the Cavalier defense with her footwork and laced balls through the smallest of gaps.  With four left Emily came within inches of slipping a ball in to Ragan Hill on a great run through the area. Christ Church tried one last attack but Mauldin turned it around on them.  After the back four spurned the attack with Emily’s help, Gina put a boot to the ball, knocking it past midfield on the bounce.  A Cavalier misplayed her trap under pressure from Lauren and Ragan and Lauren got the crucial touch past her, sending Ragan on her way.  Ragan tracked to goal and shot as the keeper came off her line.  The keeper got a touch but only managed to knock the ball into the path of Lauren trailing the play.  Lauren quickly popped the ball into the open goal for her second of the match.  The referee blew fulltime within a minute of the restart to end the Mavs’ regular season.

     The Mavericks played sound football on the night and defeated a very good Christ Church side.  Congratulations girls on a fantastic season!  Now how about some playoff ball?!