Girls Varsity Soccer
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- May 6, 2019
- : 4
THREE RIVERS HIGH SCHOOL: 0
Senior night is always a special event in high school sports, many times for the parents more than the kids. Each of the 11 Seniors got to walk out with their parents (Grandparents or host parents in a few cases) and be recognized for their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments since joining the program. It is an excellent way to help tell the story of each graduating student-athlete in a few quick lines, and help the underclassmen and fans understand a little bit about how they got to where they are. Even more special is when you see those underclassmen hand each Senior a personalized note sharing with them what they have meant, and how special they are to each and every one of the players in the program.
On the field, Otsego got out of the gates slowly, and looked sluggish and lethargic in the early going. Three Rivers played physical through the midfield, and ran an offside trap that caught the Bulldog forwards a good number of times in quick succession. No offside trap could stop the opening goal in the 26th minute, however, as Lexus Putt burried her fourth of the year. Freshman Avery Henckel did an excellent job getting the endline on the dribble, and looked for the cutback cross into the center of the Wildcat box. A defender got a touch on it to change its direction, but it fell kindly for Lexus and she opened her foot up and tucked a volley into the side netting. 1-0 in favor of Otsego at the break.
The second half started in much the same way as the first. Otsego giving possession away cheaply and putting themselves on the back foot. At one point Otsego hacked three straight clearances out their own endline giving the visitors their only three corner kicks of the match, one after another. The girls weathered the storm and started to recognize the spaces in the midfield, building possession and working the ball calmly to the wide attackers' feet. Cait Kitchen finally seemed to get involved in the play in a major way around the 55 minute mark, and that would pay dividends. In the 61st minute Lexus Putt again helped in the goal scoring department turning provider this time. Her driven header into the path of Cait allowed the Senior target player to pull a saucy double-move and burn a would-be Wildcat defender. With two defenders trailing her, Cait calmly shifted the ball onto her left side and rifled it over the hands of the outstretched keeper. From there, Otsego would roll through the next fifteen minutes scoring two more goals along the way.
Senior Alison Diller had gotten a few chances on the night, but had largely been frustrated. That would all change as she finished the match on a tear, adding to both her goal and assist totals for the season. First she drove through the heart of the Three Rivers back line, rode a couple attempts to bring her down, and assisted on a goal by Josie Paech. It was a special moment as Josie is a foreign exchange student from Germany who has spent the year playing with the JV team. She has soaked up a lot of information in the first couple months playing for the Bulldogs, and has done very well in the center of midfield for JV. To score a goal, on Senior Night, in her first Varsity action isn't something she'll soon forget. Back to Diller, just four minutes from the final whistle, as she lines up a free kick from 23 yards out. Otsego hadn't had the greatest of luck finding goals from these close-range set pieces, sending the majority just high or wide, and a few off the woodwork. Alison changed that when she put her laces through a ball that beat both the four player wall and the goalkeeper.
A solid six saves from Senior keeper Matti Rayman kept the sheet clean. Her distribution was spot on all evening, and she came off her line to intervene on a few dangerous balls in the final ten minutes. Every player along the back line played well throughout the match, but Taylor Schuesler stood out on the night. Her strong tackling mixed with some improved play with the ball at her feet made her stand out. She took great lines to the ball and covered for her teammates extremely well all night.
Otsego remains unbeaten in Wolverine Conference play, and will travel to Vicksburg in the Battle of the Bulldogs Wednesday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.