On Monday, March 29th, your Lady Redskins hosted the Perquimans Pirates for the opening conference match. The Redskins had gotten off to a difficult start, going 0-4 in non-conference play as they faced off against local powerhouse programs, First Flight and Currituck. Despite the rocky start, the Lady Redskins were showing an improvement in form each contest, and showed their willingness to work hard for an entire 80 minutes, no matter who they were playing. The early tough games would serve them well going into conference play.
Upon the opening kick-off, Manteo was the aggressor on the ball. Perquimans held three high forwards at the midline, but kept everyone else back in a defensive shape. Manteo was able to continuously control play through the midfield, and work the ball down into the final attacking third.
In the opening eight minutes of play, the Lady Redskins were earning great shots on target, but were thumping them right at the goalkeeper. Strikers Emma Ortega and Keylin Zavala both posted multiple shots on target in the early parts of the game.
In the tenth minute of play, Cici Lowe brought down a throw-in alongside the right flank. Lowe picked her head up after her collecting touch and eyed center midfielder, Angelica Landazuri, making a run through the middle of the pitch. Lowe led Landazuri with her pass, allowing her to keep her momentum and drive through the midfield and into the final third. The Pirates backline defenders sat back along the 18-yard box so Landazuri opted to try her luck from distance. She unleashed a shot from 25 yards out, sailing the ball over the outstretched fingers of the goalie, and into the back of the net. Manteo took a 1-0 lead and never looked back.
Shorty after taking control of the game with the early goal, Manteo doubled their lead with a strike by Zavala. She brought down a cross from Ortega atop the six yard box. She kept her defender at bay with a fake to the left and then took a right footed shot that saw the ball strike the inside right post, and deflect behind the goal line, leaving the goalkeeper frozen in the middle of the goal.
As play continued in the first half, Manteo really took control of the game through their midfield trio of Ragen Twiford, Hannah Hogan, and Angelica Landazuri. The trio were dominant in collecting 50/50 balls and distributing the ball to spring attacking transitions.
The Manteo backline trio was also stout throughout the entire game. Lillie Twyne and Thalia Aguirre Gomez stepped hard into tackles when called upon, and center-back, Eva Klauser was always there to clean up anything that got past the line.
Midway through the first half, Manteo extended their lead with a goal from Amy Rios Tovar. Zavala and Lowe combined down the right flank to allow Lowe to play a low cross across the six-yard box. Rios Tovar positioned well to tap the ball in from three yards out.
Lowe would later find her shooting boots and net a goal for herself after being denied by the post just five minutes prior. Lowe and Hogan worked out a beautiful one-two combination around the center-back to spring Lowe into the 18-yard box with only the goalkeeper to beat. Lowe drilled a powerful shot across the goal, finding the far-post side netting.
With only minutes remaining before the halftime whistle, Landazuri would stretch the lead to 5-0. Landazuri drilled around one defender before speeding by the second defender in the left slot. Once she got into the top corner of the 18-yard box, she only had eyes for goal and lofted a beautiful shot over the goalkeeper and into the far-post side netting.
To begin the second half, a few positional changes were made for the Redskins, however, their dominance on the ball remained the same. They continued to created a plethora of quality attacking opportunities and earn shots at goal.
With twenty minutes remaining in the game, Landazuri netter her first varsity hat-trick with another beautiful striker from just outside the box. She curled the ball into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper’s only option to turn and watch it tickle the netting.
The Lady Redskins would hold strong through the remaining minutes, earning a 6-0 victory to begin their conference play.
Coach Cleaver stated after the game, “I was really please with our passing on the evening. We kept the ball on the ground and moved it in short, concise diagonal passes, and executed some really nice one-twos. Our defense and keeper did their jobs when asked to do so, and our midfielders ran the show. This is certainly a positive win to build off of going into a tough game against Camden later in the week.”
Angelica Landazuri: 3 goals
Cici Lowe: 1 goal, 1 assist
Amy Rios Tovar: 1 goal
Hannah Hogan: 1 asssist
Keylin Zavala: 1 goal
Emma Ortega: 1 assist
Montana Miller: 7 saves