Bay hangs on to edge top-ranked Homestead
Two early goals lead Blue Dukes in key North Shore soccer match
Whitefish Bay — New strategy for the Whitefish Bay girls soccer team: Score early, hang on for dear life.
The Blue Dukes, ranked third in the area by the Journal Sentinel, ran that plan to perfection Tuesday night. They scored two goals in the first 17 minutes and then held on to knock off top-ranked Homestead, 2-1, at Bay's Lubar Stadium.
With the nail-biting win, Bay, ranked No. 10 among Division 1 teams in the state coaches' poll, stays in the race for the North Shore Conference championship. The Blue Dukes improved to 8-4-2 overall and 2-1-1 in conference. Homestead, ranked No. 1 in Division 1, fell to 10-1-1 and 3-1-1 in league play.
"We had to dig deep tonight," said Bay coach Robert Williams. "We were really under it in the second half. They are a really good side and they had us on the ropes. We were lucky."
Bay's luck started early. The Blue Dukes scored in the fourth minute as senior Talia Dacquisto corralled a ball kept alive by sophomore Gilly Maxwell near the Homestead goal. The ball trickled between Dacquisto and Homestead junior keeper Anneliese Smith. Dacquisto beat her to the ball, moved to her left and fired into the left side of the net.
Bay made it 2-0 in the 17th minute off a nice set piece. Junior Elena Beckman lofted a corner kick from the left side. The ball was flicked toward the goal and junior Lindsey Agnew poked it in from the far post.
"You can't spot a good team like that two goals," said Homestead coach Rich Dorn. "They did a nice job getting into position to make plays. They clogged the passing lanes and cleared it long when they had to. We wanted to play it short, but they forced us out of it."
Homestead got back into it in the 30th minute off a bad clear by the Bay defense. Highlander senior Olivia Tehan got a deflected ball, took control of it and put it in the upper left corner.
In the second half, Bay got more aggressive on offense and almost scored in the 59th minute. Smith stooped a nice shot by sophomore Jana Maxwell.
Bay's defense survived more than a few shaky moments during the rest of the match. Homestead showed off its kicking power by rocketing long ball after long ball toward Bay senior keeper Sarah Platzer. She was up to the task, knocking down or punching away several tricky airborne chances.
In the 62nd minute, senior Lindsay Jagla's long free kick for the Highlanders curled into the box and was headed toward the goal, but it slammed off the crossbar.
"They can really pound the ball," Williams said. "We tried to keep the ball in front of us. I thought we needed to win more balls and make better decisions. We just were out of sorts."
"We had a couple near misses," Dorn said. "Bay took away a lot of the space we are used to working with. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the job they did."
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