The Washington Catholic girls soccer team had victory in their sights, but they couldn’t get the key shot when they needed it.
The Cardinals (3-2-2) tied Wood Memorial, 1-1, Tuesday evening at Rees Field.
The Cardinals came out sluggish and allowed the winless Trojans to take control of the momentum in a physical, defensive Blue Chip Conference matchup, leading to the first goal of the night for the Trojans. In the 28th minute of play, Rachel Wilkins sliced through the Cardinals defense and scored to give the Trojans a one-goal lead, a lead they would hold through halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Cardinals seemed to play with more urgency. Twelve minutes into the second half, senior midfielder Kaelani Ellerman knotted the score at one.
A goal that was made possible by a substitution from head coach Kelly Neace.
“We moved Kaelani (Ellerman) out of her natural position,” Neace said. “Kaelani, this year is playing anywhere I want her on the field, and doing an excellent job. I pulled her off her position to show one of the girls what she was doing wrong and Kaelani just took control.”
For the remaining 28 minutes, the Cardinals controlled momentum and spent much of the game in the Trojans’ defensive zone, but just couldn’t push the winning goal across.
The Trojans defensive scheme put a lot of pressure on the strikers of the Cardinals as they attempted to penetrate into Wood Memorial’s defensive third, forcing them into difficult shots.
“Our strikers were a little off,” Neace said. “Wood Memorial packs the defense in so tight that we had to figure out how to work from the outside and we couldn’t figure out how to do that. They had nine in the box the whole time and we had four.”
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