MOUNTAIN LAKES _ Neither Hanover Park nor Mountain Lakes liked playing 100 minutes of soccer in unseasonably searing heat on Wednesday, Sept. 27 and ending up with a 0-0 tie.
However, players on both sides learned how resilient their teammates were and gained confidence from playing an even match against a very worthy opponent.
Hanover Park is 5-3-1 with the result while the tie ended a Mountain Lakes winning streak. The Lakers are still unbeaten at 7-0-1.
Hanover Park goalie Natalie Santangelo was credited with seven saves and Mountain Lakes' Lea Credidio had three saves.
The Hornets got a little more of a boost from the scoreless bout since they earned it on the road on the Lakers' grass field. They also felt they gained an edge against their MCT opponent Morristown on Sunday since the Colonials and the Lakers play a similar formation.
"A tie is an awesome way to come away from this game,'' Hanover Park coach Erin Shane said. "We settled into playing possession, moving the ball around and then we adjusted into playing really, really hard defense. They had a few scary chances and we did, too.''
Both teams had to make adjustments in their midfield because of injuries.
The Hornets worked on dealing with the Lakers' 3-5-2 alignment and defending their opponents, especially two talented and skillful forwards, Emma Menthe and Nina Calderone.
"We played them before,'' Hanover Park standout Gabby Barquin said. "We knew what we had to watch out for. We planned accordingly at practice. We practiced the long balls trying to get through
Mountain Lakes standout midfielder Caroline Scarola had to leave the game due to injury. The Lakers scrambled with combinations before Haley McLaughlin and Kimmy Klingener were able to make adjustments, keep the midfield shape and send better through balls to the Lakers forwards in the second half.
"We were a little flat in the first half and in the second half we played quite well,'' Mountain Lakes coach Patrick Butler said. "Once we started playing to our wing players we were able to open up the middle. We just couldn't finish.''
The best scoring chances for either team came just before the end of regulation. With about five minutes left, Barquin cracked a direct kick from about 35 yards out that hit the right side of the crossbar flush. The ball bounced away from the goal hard which left no chance for a Hornets rebound.
"She is very humble,'' Shane said of he standout senior. "She always knows that she can do better and she is not selfish. If she has a shot, she will take it. If she doesn't, she will always lay it off to someone who has a better opportunity. She really does lead by example.''
In the final minute of regulation play, Lakers forward Calderone got her foot on a through ball and created a breakaway. She beat her defender just inside the box and got off a shot but Hornets goalie Santangelo cut off her angle just enough so that her kick sailed wide to the left moments before the whistle blew that sent the game to overtime.
"It was playing on her mind,'' Butler said. "I just spoke to her but you live, you learn and you play. That's the sport. She is a true athlete and she is getting some great looks from colleges.''
Last modified onFriday, 29 September 2017 05:39
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