Girls soccer tops Falcons
It may have just been another early-season league game on the schedule, but don’t tell the Northwestern girls soccer team that. Tuesday’s Colonial League battle against Salisbury had more on the line.
With both teams among the top of the standings with just one loss, although early, Tuesday’s game figured to be a solid measuring stick for both sides.
It was Northwestern that answered the call and took yet another step forward toward solidifying itself as a team to be reckoned with. Abby Chisdak broke a scoreless game late in the first half, and Lydia Danner punched in two goals as well in the Tigers’ 3-1 win over Salisbury (4-2 in Colonial League).
“That game was very important because we need these next couple of games, and it’ll help get us into leagues,” Chisdak said.
Tuesday’s victory was also good in the sense that Northwestern, although defeating Bangor 4-1 on Monday, was coming off a subpar showing just 24 hours earlier.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming in,” Danner said. “Yesterday [Monday against Bangor] was a little bit of a rough game, but to come back and redeem ourselves was nice.
“We just weren’t making the plays [against Bangor]. We were playing really slow and our speed of play was off. It was kind of a frustrating game even though we did win. We definitely improved today versus yesterday.”
Northwestern (4-1 in Colonial League) produced its share of opportunities in the first half against Salisbury, but it wasn’t until late that one of those chances found its way into the back of the net. After Sara Hathaway’s initial shot on goal was saved by Salisbury goalie Jordan Kamp, Chisdak cleaned up the rebound with a wide-open goal in front of her.
The momentum continued to build moments later. Not even two minutes after Chisdak’s tally, she was on the assisting end of another Northwestern score. Her cross was placed perfectly in front of the Falcons’ goal, and Danner was there to punch it home, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead with 9:08 remaining in the opening half.
“Those [two goals] were very good because it pretty much secured our position,” Chisdak said. “We can’t think like that, but it really secured our position as a win.
“I was heading down toward the corner and I hit it off of my left foot. It was a really good cross, and Lydia hit it perfect right there.”
It didn’t take quite as long for the offense to get rolling in the second half. Much like her first goal, Danner took advantage of a solid Tiger cross in front of Salisbury’s net less than eight minutes into the second half.
“It was kind of the same as my first goal,” Danner said. “They got to the end line and then crossed it up. I was there in time to get the ball in the net.”
Salisbury got on the scoreboard on a penalty kick from Rylee Donaldson with 23:30 to play, and despite another prime opportunity from Donaldson roughly nine minutes later, the Falcons couldn’t break through offensively.
Northwestern out-shot Salisbury 18-9.
For a team that graduated its top three goal-scorers last year, all of whom were all-state selections at one point in their careers, Northwestern’s offense is finding its rhythm early on in the season.
“We could be a lot stronger, but I feel like we’re doing a lot better than anybody would have expected,” Danner said. “I’m pretty happy with the way we’re playing, but we need to definitely step up a lot more and get that kick in the butt so we can do even better than we are.”