A surging Shadow Creek team came into the nest at Foster on Tuesday night for a showdown with the district leading Falcons. The previous match ended 1-0 in Foster’s favor and this match shaped up to be a similar affair. The cold temperatures got both teams off to a slow start with Shadow Creek venturing forward first and winning an early corner kick. Soon after, though, the Foster offense got revving and the shots started to happen. Tola Ajayi and Jasmin Badillo began to find some room out wide and were able to connect some passes down the field. Attacking midfielder, Angelica Bochus, got into the fray as well slipping just as she put an unsuccessful shot on target.
Twenty minutes in, the Falcons had their best opportunity off a corner kick when the ladies had multiple close-range shots parried by the strong Shark keeper. Marin Stephan and Abrie Morales started to get more involved in the offense late in the half and were able to get their own shots off although none found the net. Defensively, Elise and Jade Cheramie provided some great overlapping coverage with the outside backs allowing Chloe Mills and Ashley Bell to get forward and add numbers on the Falcon offense. With 5 minutes left in the half, Jasmin drove deep on the left side and beat two defenders on the end line before getting tripped in the penalty box setting up the Falcon’s first score on the night. She calmly drilled the ensuing penalty kick past the keeper for a 1-0 lead at half time. 40 minutes complete and the Falcons had allowed only one legitimate shot on goal while peppering the Shadow Creek net with 18 of their own.
The second half started out quicker with both teams getting opportunities on goal over the next 25 minutes. Both midfields struggled to connect on their passes in a back and forth affair where the advantage fell to Foster and their outside backs working forward. Chloe just missed Tola on a long cross into the box and Ashley pestered the left side of the Shadow Creek defense in support of Tola’s attacking runs. In the 72 minutes, Jasmin slipped a beautiful corner kick over the fingertips of the Shadow Creek keeper for a 2-0 lead that looked to be all it would take to seal the victory. The Sharks substituted in a number of fresh legs in a last ditch effort to get some speed on the field but the defense held and, with the Falcon midfielders dropping back to help, were able to secure yet another Foster clean sheet for Grace Shivers.
Over 80 minutes, the Falcons limited Shadow Creek to 4 shots and 39% on time of possession. They say that defense wins championships and the ability to grind out a tough game is what makes the difference. If that’s true, then the Falcons look to be well on their way to a district crown and more. The Lady Falcons play at FB Willowridge on Friday at 7:30 PM. #ptn #WiT