DuBOIS — It was a defensive battle between the Indiana Indians and the DuBois Lady Beaver girls soccer teams Monday evening. But in the end, the Lady Beavers made one of its shots count and picked up a 1-0 win against a tough opponent.
Rachel Sickeri found the back of the net at the 68:58 mark after getting past Indian defenders after the ball was ping-ponged around between the two squads near midfield.
“We made some adjustments at halftime in order to get the ball to (Sickeri) in different positions on the field,” DuBois head coach Steve Graeca said. “It was a long ball and we played a little bit more of a direct style. Ball bounced over, she ran on to it and she buried it in the back of the net. She did a great job.”
The Lady Beavers also got the job done without two of its starters in Austyn Burkett and Mariah Allen due to injury.
“We have two injuries with our starting backs — Austyn Burkett and Mariah Allen were both out,” Coach Graeca said. “We had to play a lot of JV players for the second game in a row. Indiana’s a tough, scrappy team. We haven’t played them in the last couple of years, so they didn’t know a lot about us and we didn’t know a lot about them. We watch some film and we knew they had some good athletes ... We played very defensively. We had Emily (Graeca) back and they shut down Rachel (Sickeri) for the better part of the first half.”
Both teams combined for just seven shots in the first half as Indiana had a few more opportunities than the home Lady Beavers but were unable to capitalize. DuBois also had a few chances with Sickeri to score but both teams went into the half at 0-0.
As the Indians continued to put pressure on at the beginning of the second half, its attempts were often thwarted by Emily Graeca before they could even get a shot on goal, as Coach Graeca said it was a great all-around effort from the squad.
“We had great contributions from players like Sydney Peace, who came in and played multiple positions for us,” Coach Graeca said. “We had some nice saves again by Kara (Tilson). Rivers McLaren came in and played outside back and did a really good job. And Emily (Graeca) probably saved at least four or five sure 1-on-1s. Then we’re seeing players like Kamryn Fontaine who hasn’t played in the middle all year, playing the middle and digging that out. Rylee Wadding also digging the balls out and doing the stuff that’s not going to show up on a stat sheet.”
After Sickeri’s goal gave the Lady Beavers a lead with a little more than 11 minutes to play, Coach Graeca and company then played more defensively to keep the Indians at a disadvantage.
Tilson had eight saves on the day, including one with about five minutes remaining from Belle Garzarelli that was a line drive and another in which Tilson came out of the net into traffic to scoop up the ball.
“We did a better job of marking in the second half and I really think it was a pretty even game,” Coach Graeca said. “But at the end of the day we were fortunate enough to get the goal and we kind of parked the bus the last 10 minutes — we went to a defensive formation and it worked out.”
With the win, DuBois gets to 6-7 on the season and will try to get to the .500 mark today as the Lady Beavers travel to Brockway.
“We’ve got Brockway (today) which we can’t look past,” Coach Graeca said. “Then we’ve got Central Mountain (on Thursday). So we could end up at the end of the week with a winning record which puts us in great position for the final week of the season in making the playoffs. We’re hopeful to get Mariah Allen back next week and Austyn Burkett back for playoffs, so we could be peaking at the right time. We’re getting a lot of contributions from our star players.”
Score by Halves
Indiana 0 0 — 0
DuBois 0 1 — 1
D—Rachel Sickeri, 68:58.
Shots: Indiana 11, DuBois 7. Saves: Indiana 4 (Bella Antonacci), DuBois 8 (Kara Tilson). Corner kicks: Indiana 4, DuBois 4.