Girls’ Soccer Holds on to Beat Tough Smyrna

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Sean Marraffini

With the playoff spot in close contention, the Lady Bucs held on to beat a Smyrna side that threw everything at them, 2-1.

From the early going, Milford was playing a strong game with the offense splitting the Smyrna defense and using short crisp passes to do so. The Bucs defense communicated well and stood strong against the Smyrna attack.

“Even though we’ve only been working on it (the teams passing game) the past two, three games, we are getting our heads up and looking and the passes are a lot more correct.” Striker Rebekah Yanacek said.

In the 7th minute Rebekah Yanacek had a run inside the box after taking a pass from Stefaine Clendaniel but was turned away by the Eagles defense.

Immediately following, Sarah Holbrunner fired a shot that was saved by Smyrna goalie Kaitlyn Brown.

The Bucs would be first to score when the striking pair of Nidia Leon and Rebekah Yanacek connected with Yanacek putting the finishing touch and sending Milford up 1-0.

“They’ve been working a lot these last few weeks, head coach Keith Short said. “We went back to basics to passing, receiving, along with movement on and off the ball. Which they’ve taken and implemented in the game.”

The Yanacek show would continue when she had a run inside the box but was stopped by the Eagles keeper.

The Lady Bucs would continue the offensive pressure and it would pay off when in the 35th minute Kira Byler fired a shot from the left hand side that sailed right under the crossbar, growing Milford’s lead to two.

However in the second half, the Eagles really revamped their game.

Coming out on the attack, Smyrna was playing as a must win game and attacked at every opportunity. For a vast majority of the second frame, Smyrna had possession and set up in the offensive zone firing shots and trying to slip past the Milford defense.

“I was really happy with their performance,” Coach Short said. For them to come back together as a unit and play well against a very tough attacking Smyrna squad was great.”

That style of play eventually paid of for the Eagles when in the 57th minute the Milford defense cracked and allowed a goal by striker Gabrielle Russillo.

Despite the slim lead, the Lady Bucs held strong and stopped Smyrna at every chance.

In the waning minutes when the Bucs defense got the ball out, the midfield made runs to the goal but where unable to cushion their lead any further.

But it one goal led was enough, ending a nail biter with a 2-1 victory.

“It’s coming down to the end, so we’re really pulling it together,” Midfielder Morgan Anton said.