W hitehall’s soccer team took advantage of their set plays and a stingy defense as they began the 2011 season with a 1-0 victory against Granville.
Junior Rebecca Lavin scored the only goal of the contest and Kelsey Farley had ten saves in the shutout.
The game, which was scheduled to be held inWhitehall, was moved to the fast, synthetic surfaces of the Golden Goal complex inFortAnn, an advantage for a faster Granville team.
ButWhitehallplayed stingy defense, taking away the center of the field and forcing Granville to try and strike from the outside.
Both teams limited each other’s opportunities in the opening minutes of the game, but at about the 20 minute mark,Whitehallpenetrated the Granville defense and Carianna Jones was fouled just outside the box setting up a direct kick.
Jones took the ensuing kick and sent the ball toward the net where Lavin re-directed the shot into the back of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Granville dominated the rest of the half, holding the ball in their end but were unable to capitalize on any scoring opportunities.
They had an excellent opportunity to tie the game with less than 10 minutes in the half but Farley made a leaping save, tipping the off the top of the cross bar before it fall harmlessly into her arms.
“I though Kelsey did a nice job. She made some really good saves and we were able to hold on,” head coach Ceil Brandi said.
The second half was a back and forth affair with both teams alternating control of the ball and each had several opportunities to score but were unable to find the back of the net.
Whitehall appeared to be in trouble late in the half when Granville standout Emily Fuller received a perfect pass and split the defense on her way toward the net, but Victoria Christian got the right angle, sprinted across the field and knocked the ball away before Fuller could square it up for a shot.
For the game, Granville outshootWhitehall15-12. Each team took five corner kicks.
“I thought we played well,” Brandi said. “We have to work on not letting other teams score on the corner.”
Whitehallwill hostLake Georgethis evening at4:15 p.m.andSalemnext Tuesday at4:15 p.m.
Lake Georgeis consistently one of the best teams in the league and will represent a big test for a youngWhitehallteam.
The Warriors went undefeated in the Adirondack League last year at 10-0 and are one of the favorites to win the league again this year.