Mavs Need Penalty Kicks to Down Dorman

     In search of their ninth Region II victory, the Mavericks welcomed the Dorman Cavaliers to Mauldin Stadium.  The Mavs went straight on the attack with Ragan breaking loose down the right , forcing an early save at the near post.  She got a second chance when Emily Praktish worked deep right and crossed to Ragan in front of goal.  She used a touch to get around two defenders before sending her shot straight at the keeper’s head and a deflection, earning a corner kick.  Gina Cardenas played the corner short to Emily and she sent a low cross to the near post.  Lauren Young neatly finished at the post to open the scoring in the fourth minute.  A few minutes later Gina played a long ball through the defense for Emily and she served low to Ragan.  An alert defender dropped her shoulder enough to force the shot wide.  Emily came close when she turned quick on her defender, touched to gain her space and fired a hard shot into the side netting.  About twenty minutes in the Mavs’ dominance began to fade.  Dorman began getting the right bounces and intercepting more of the Mauldin passes.  The Mav defense was playing well keeping the Cavaliers in front of them and denying any serious penetration.  They were clearing well only to have the Cavaliers boot the balls back deep.  One of Dorman’s long ball deflected wide to a Cavalier who knocked the ball across the outside of the area.  The lazy roller wove its way between and past six Mavs before a Cavalier put a foot on it.  Caitland Considine got her hands to the ball but it slipped through for the equalizer.  The goal gave Dorman hope of an upset and seemed to rattle the Mavs.  The Mavs almost got it back quickly as Kathy Jones carried the ball out from deep in the back.  She found Emily running on the left and she took the ball into the box.  After a nifty pull-back, her shot was deflected wide and Tori Pilgrim’s redirect was saved at the right post.  The Mauldin defense stayed solid for the rest of the half preventing any further damage however the Mavs lost control of the midfield. Inaccurate passing, poor traps, and tough deflections allowed the scrappy Cavaliers to apply pressure and erode possession.

     The Mavs started the second much as they had come off.  Their touch was still off however their increased hustle earned them more time with the ball and more attacks.  Ten minutes in the Mavs almost found the net.  Gina collected the ball at the left touch line and played it to Julianna Traurig in center and she passed to Lauren at the right corner of the area.  Lauren spotted Gina continuing her run to the arc and played square in to her.  Gina took a touch for space and her hard low shot beat the keeper but not the post.  Lauren took a crack at the rebound but sent it over.  Emily put a good shot on goal and had a great cross a couple minutes later.  Gina sent the ball deep for Emily and she froze her defender with some step-overs before pushing past her and sending a sharp low cross to goal.  Haley Dunham was hounded by a marker that blocked her touch on the line.  Dorman began to succomb to the increased pressure, foregoing passing for clearing and committing more fouls.  Emily sent a free kick at the edge of the box on goal but it was deflected over.  Gina took the corner and Lauren’s volley hit the keeper.  Her second shot was cleared off the line, Hayley’s shot was blocked at the six, and so was Tera Dolan’s attempt.  Emily kept hustling and sending good balls into the box but the Mavs could not get boots to the ball.  With ten minutes left she collected a missed trap, settled and fired past the keeper but onto the crossbar.  The keeper turned around and the rebound hit her hands.  Gina, Lauren, Emily and Tera had chances late but could not convert.  On the last play of the game, gina took a free kick from thirty-five out but was denied by the crossbar.  The defense did not allow a shot on goal the second half and the Mavs created attacks but could not find the final touch in regulation.

     The Mavericks owned the first overtime.  They kept Dorman under constant pressure and never let the ball cross midfield.  They created some good looks at goal and got shots from Tera, Lauren and Emily but still could not find the magic touch.  The second period was a different story.  Dorman found a second wind and threw themselves at the ball.  The Mavs were able to deal with the frenetic play but could not generate any possession.

     As a Regional match, the result would be decided with penalty kicks.  Mauldin won the toss and elected to defend first.  The first Cavalier missed high and Lauren hit the left side netting to put Mauldin up.  The second Cavalier placed her shot high right and Tera’s effort missed inches left to level the score.  Caitland went to her right and saved the third Dorman shot while Emily coolly slid her shot in the right side to reestablish the lead.  Dorman made their fourth shot but Gina powered her effort into the right side netting to maintain the advantage.  The fifth Cavalier placed the ball down in a score or go home moment.  Caitland read the shooter and moved quickly to her right, but had to reach back to make the save!  With the save Mauldin did not need their fifth shot and sealed the shootout victory.