A dark moment finished the Buxmont Torch men’s soccer season when Torch goalie Jeremy Lee finished the game against the FC Sonic laid out on the ground with an apparent arm injury. Continue reading
Sometimes in life it is possible to have your cake and eat it too.
It was certainly true for Torch goalie Kerry Edwards who posted her third shutout of the season against the Lancaster Inferno on a day when she was celebrating her 21st birthday. Edwards was assisted by Torch defender Rebeccah Hoekstra who scored the only goal of the game for the 1-0 win on July 9 at Pennridge High School.
“There is nothing I would rather do than play soccer on my birthday and to get a win was just a bonus,” Edwards said. “I am just blessed to be here on this team and get the nice birthday win.”
The Torch had been 0-2 in 1-0 games, but got five saves from Edwards and posted an 18-5 shots-on-goal differential to dominate the game’s offense. Inferno goalie Emily Dolan and a lot of luck kept the Torch from making the game a blowout.
“I thought we had a lot of opportunities,” Melissa Fawcett, Head Coach of the Torch said after the game. “It is a shame we only put one in, but I thought we played really well.”
The last time the two teams met the Inferno bested the Torch for a 3-1 win on June 11 when midfielder Trisha Clark scored a goal and had assist.
The Torch’s explosive offense started out of rhythm for the first several minutes with inaccurate passing. In contrast, the Torch defense was strong and made the Inferno seem non-existent.
Torch forward Shea Neal jump-started her team’s offense by forcing a corner kick. The initial kick was the first of three attempts in two minutes and seven total for the game. Torch midfielder Christine Kindt handled the majority of the kicks and orchestrated much of the team’s offense. Fellow midfielder Leisil Toth almost opened the scoring for the Torch when her shot bounced off the top cross bar.
After the Torch could not capitalize on the Kindt kicks, Inferno forward Lauren Berry dribbled around her defender and fired on Edwards. Edwards made the initial save and covered up the rebound. The only flaw that could be found with Edwards is that she did give up multiple rebounds, but was quick to cover them up.
Luck was certainly needed for Dolan on another drive when Toth blasted a 40-yard volley shot that bounced off the inside of the right cross bar.
For much of the first half the Torch defense pressured the Inferno’s ball possession and held the Inferno’s scoring chances to a minimum. The last 15 minutes became more focused on trying to score and the defense of both teams suffered.
The Inferno began the second half with an assault on the Torch net, but Edwards was able to keep the Inferno off the scoreboard.
The Torch regrouped and took over on offense where midfielder Rachel Shive would have a couple of chances from the left side. Shive teamed with midfielder Lindsey Eccles who’s lead passes allowed Shive to get a running start on shot attempts.
Dolan turned back the momentum towards her team when she slid from either side of her net to spoil Torch scoring chances. The attack from the Inferno forced the Torch into their zone for several minutes as the Torch had trouble clearing the zone.
After an Inferno corner, Torch defender Katie McGoldrick moved quickly back in transition and launched a long volley pass to Hoekstra in front of the Inferno net. Hokestra settled the ball on the left corner of the net and footed the ball past Dolan who was guarding the opposite side.
“I guess the defense of the other team just wasn’t looking for the wide player theorem” Hoekstra said. “We had several opportunities on the opposite side with Rachel Shive and we always came through every time.”
Neal tried the hot foot of Hoekstra again moments later, when she outworked a pair of Inferno defenders to put Hoekstra in front of Dolan. Hoekstra faked out Dolan, but her kick rolled off side cross bar.
The Inferno sensed that the game was getting away from them and kept Edwards moving during the last 10 minutes. Inferno forward Jade Flory raced back in transition on one of the chances, but had her shot swallowed up by Edwards. Midfielder Sydney Blomquist met a similar fate when her shot off a Torch turnover was blocked and then blocked again off a rebound.
Prior to the Inferno heating up on offense Edwards was not seeing much action, but gave a little insight on how she remains prepared for action.
“Its about focusing for 90 minutes,” Edwards said. Even when you don’t have a lot of action you still have to be paying attention and be focused so that if something suddenly changes you are there to make the save.”
Similar chances came for the Inferno in the last couple minutes, but soon succombed to the loss.
The Torch women play the last game of the season today against the undefeated ASA Chesapeake Charge with an outside chance of making the playoffs.
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