Mavs Rout Rebels 3-0

     Mauldin travelled to Byrnes for their final Region II match.  The Mavs started brightly, hustling to the ball, winning challenges and passing timely and accurately.  They got their first look at goal in the third minute when Ragan Hill got a boot to Maggie Cowley’s cross only to have it go straight to the keeper.  Two minutes later the Mavs cashed in.  Emily Praktish played a ball into Lauren Young who held it at the goal line before spotting Gina Cardenas’ run.  Lauren played back to Gina and she blasted the ball past the keeper into the top right corner to open the scoring.  Soon Sandra Siatkowski intercepted a clearance in center and found Ragan at the arc who played through to Lauren.  She was crowded by two defenders and dropped the ball back to Ragan but her shot went high.  The Mavs maintained control of the midfield and kept applying pressure.  It paid off as Julianna Traurig passed along the line to Emily Praktish who dribbled to the corner of the box.  She fired a low pass in to Tera Dolan who, with back to goal, put the slightest of touches on the ball, guiding it in at the near post to double the lead in the seventeenth.  A couple minutes later Haley Dunham’s chip was barely stopped by the keeper at full stretch.  Mauldin dominated the first 25 minutes but apparently someone forgot to tell the Rebels they were outmatched.  With a couple subs at midfield Byrnes started hustling more and playing physical.  They were able to disrupt Mauldin’s passing and possession, make the Mavs defend in their own half, and killed the pace and flow of the match.  The Mavs had to work harder for their chances and Tera took her licks in the process.  She collected a loose ball and brought it to goal.  She slid the ball square to Ragan and got mugged from behind.  The ref swallowed his whistle, or allowed the advantage, and Ragan sent a cracking shot across goal forcing a finger tip save from the keeper.

     After a lengthy break for the Rebels’ Senior Night, the Mavs took the field looking to put the match to bed.  Byrnes blocked a clearance and the ball popped behind the defense.  Julianna and Kathy Jones tracked back with Jules relieving the pressure with a slick ball wide to Sandra.  She started a beautiful counter with a ball up the line to Maggie who turned and played up to Lauren.  She cut in a bit and switched the field to Emily.  She neatly played over her challenger to Tera at the top of the arc.  Tera settled from her chest and volleyed to the left post requiring a good save from the keeper.  She came close again from Gina’s corner but the keeper swatted the ball off Tera’s head at the back post.  Gina set her up again with a cross from the right but Tera’s half volley from a tough angle skipped over the crossbar.  Byrnes added speed up top and tried to play over and through the middle.  Amanda Martin stayed a step in front and herded the Rebel left to leave Caitland Considine a clear kicking lane.  Tera almost got another after she turned and sent Tori Pilgrim deep and wide right.  Tori hustled to the endline and got her cross low across goal.  It took a sticky set of gloves to keep the ball off Tera’s boot.  Gina and Tera tried to connect on another corner but Tera’s strong header found the side netting.  Tera tried a turn as provider and sent a ball square for Haley but her one-touch effort went wide of goal.  The third tally finally came when Meghan Meek beat a marker down the left and took the ball to the corner.  She cut it back to Lauren she tried to chip over the keeper who was off her line.  The Rebel got a hand to the ball but tipped it to Tori at the back post.  Her effort struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced to Haley, who made sure the ball found the back of the net.  The Mavs almost got another when Madison Scott dug a ball out at midfield and slid it low to Sarah Kate Phillips.  Sarah Kate turned quick and charged to goal.  Her shot from the top of the box went just wide.  The Mavs’ increased work rate in the second half kept the ball solidly in the Rebel end, the defense seldom challenged, and ensured Caitland earned her ninth shutout.  Tera continued her hard work from box to box, despite the five times she was knocked flat.  The ref eventually blew his whistle – to draw the match to a close.

 

     The win clinched a share of the Region II championship and should seed the Mavericks #1 for the Playoffs.  Congratulations Mavs !!!