On Friday, April 23rd, your Lady Redskins traveled back to Camden for the second time that week. On Monday, Manteo arrived in Camden at 5 PM, for a 6 PM game. A small rain storm set over the town, and the team were prepared to wait it out as it began to clear by game time. Regardless of the sun coming out, the referees decided the game could not be played, and sent Manteo home before the game could ever kick off.
In the previous fixture this year with the Bruins, Manteo bested Camden by a score of 3-0 while dominating the ball throughout the entire game.
The game kicked off in much of the same fashion. Manteo was on the ball early and often as Camden sat back in a heavily defensive shape. More often than not, the Bruins stacked nine defenders in and around the 18-yard box, with one lone striker sitting atop the midline. Manteo was able to control possession through the midfield but would need to be creative to get through the sea of defenders in front of the goal.
Manteo often looked to attack down the flanks, dragging defenders wide to open more space in the middle for strikers Emma Ortega and Keylin Zavala. Midfielders Angelica Landazuri and Hannah Hogan did well to combine and overlap with wingers, Cici Lowe and Amy Rios Tovar. In the early ten minutes of play, the tactics earned shots on goal and several corners.
In the 9th minute of the game, Manteo earned a string of corner kicks. On the third corner attempt, Lowe curled the ball into the six-yard box. Hogan tracked the ball on her run into the box and struck the ball with her right foot as the ball dropped into the box. The shot from Hogan stayed low and beat the goal keeper to find the back of net, giving Manteo a 1-0 lead.
Over the next fifteen minutes of play, Manteo began to move the ball with purpose and pace. Landazuri controlled the game through the midfield by checking to the ball, making diagonal runs, and quick distribution to the other attacking players. Despite the nine defenders in front of the box, Manteo was able to execute beautiful 1-2s up the middle in order to create shots on target.
With fourteen minutes remaining in the first half, a ball played into the box was handled by a Bruin defender and Manteo was awarded a penalty kick. Lowe stood over the ball to take the kick. With two quick steps up to the ball, Lowe curled the ball into the bottom left corner side netting. The goalkeeper, guessed correctly and made a great diving effort, but the ball was placed perfectly out of reach. Manteo took the 2-0 lead into half time.
The second half was more of the same with Manteo dominating possession and Camden sitting back in an effort to make things difficult for the away team. Hogan and Lowe used their skill and pace to combine and dominate the flank, while Zavala and Landazuri found their confidence on the ball to dice up the central defenders.
Just before the second half mask break, Manteo was unlucky not to add to their 2-0 lead. Landazuri began the possession by collecting the ball near the midline and played an overlapping Hogan towards the left. Hogan kept the switch, and played the ball along to Lowe on the left flank. Lowe cut the ball back inside and then squared the ball to the top of the box for the on-coming Landazuri. Landazuri struck the ball first time with her weak foot. She drilled it over the arms of the goalkeeper and the ball clanked off the crossbar and back into play.
With fifteen minutes remaining in the game, Lowe earned her brace on the evening with a clinical, low finish that found its way between multiple defenders, hit off the inside left post, and deflected behind the goal-line to give Manteo a 3-0 lead.
With two minutes remaining on the clock, Hogan penetrated the central midfield before laying the ball off out wide to Lowe. Lowe took a touch inward to set her shot up and then let it fly. The shot was on target and with good movement. The goalkeeper was positioned well but the movement on the ball gave her trouble as she parried the ball across the goal. Yadhira Gomez sprinted into the six-yard box and knocked the ball into the back of the net before the other defenders could obstruct her.
The game would end as a 4-0 victory for your Manteo Redskins.
Coach Cleaver stated after the game, “I feel we played really well tonight. Our passing was crisp and timely, and our off the ball movement was the best it has been all year. The girls were applying some of the concepts we have been working on in practice and it helped us find the net. If we continue to play like that, we will be tough to beat.”
Cici Lowe: 2 goals, 1 assist
Hannah Hogan: 1 goal
Yadhira Gomez: 1 goal