By Nick Beversdorf
Bluejay varsity soccer participated in atriangular this past weekend, facing off against Antigo and Phillips in below average temperatures. Merrill would eventually be declared the winner as a tie against Antigo and a win over Philips put Merrill at the top of the event.
The first game against Antigo saw no scores. Although Merrill dominated the game with 14 shots and 11 on goal with four corner kicks, they just couldn’t get the ball into the net.
“We possessed the ball pretty well and took a lot of shots,” comments head coach Stephanie Nelson. “But just could not seem to find the open net. We had more opportunities than we normally do, it’s just we couldn’t capitalize. Luckily, Antigo only had one shot on goal (their only one for the shortened 60-minute game) and Gabby Schlegel picked it off. We dominated 90% of the game, but just couldn’t seem to make the right passes and create the scoring opportunities that would give us the best chance.”
The second game against Phillips saw a much better game (not just in comparison to Antigo but the previous Merrill-Phillips game) with Merrill winning 4-1.
Phillips got their only goal and one of the six total shots 1:04 into the game. Fortunately, the girls pulled their possession game around and Emily Page slotted her second goal of the season off a pass from Mae Litschauer at the 12:57 mark. A couple minutes later, Freshman Hunter Zecca got her first varsity goal (unassisted) to put Merrill up 2-1 at the 17:22 mark. They struck again as senior Jeza Kleinschmidt also got her first goal of her varsity career as she shot on goal and it deflected off Phillip’s defender and goalie at the 24:42 mark.
“After half-time, our scoring slowed down a bit as we were going into a 15-25 mile an hour wind,” adds Nelson. “But Mae Litschauer powered her second goal of the season from beyond the 18 past the keeper. We ended up out-shooting them 23 total (14 on goal) with 5 corner kick in the much needed victory.”