Morris too strong; ends Lady Blue Devils season
By John Bernhardt
In the end Morris was simply too strong. The defending Section IV girls’ soccer champions had too much size, too much speed, and too much skill in Saturday’s quarterfinal match-up with Margaretville. A 3-0 Morris win ended Margaretville’s run of 12 consecutive unbeaten games and put the finishing touches to the Blue Devils’ Cinderella season.
Margaretville waged a fierce battle, especially early in the contest. Neither team managed a shot on goal for the first 18 minutes of the game, but as the minutes melted off the game clock, Morris’ depth and athleticism wore the Blue Devils down.
Ironically, each of the three Morris goals was preventable. Swift and sure of foot, the defending Section IV champions exerted steady offensive pressure, and the Morris squad displayed the capacity to turn the slightest error to their advantage.
The first Morris score came with 13:26 to play in the half. Margaretville goalie Alexis Molnar turned in an outstanding game tending the nets time after time turning away Morris opportunities to score. Molnar’s only miscue came when Alexis Forgit settled a cross from the right wing and grounded a shot that somehow squirted past the Margaretville goalie.
A failure to execute a defensive clear resulted in the second Morris score. This time a Forgit cross was misplayed and Kelsey Webster was there to blast home a score from close range.
The final Morris goal came on an own goal midway through the second half.
But, a fast and skilled Morris defensive unit was the story of the game. The Morris defenders, an experienced corps, dominated play, smothering almost every Margaretville offensive advance. The Blue Devils couldn’t manage a shot on goal until Tess Svoboda corralled a cross and fired a shot at the nets with 13:08 remaining to play. The Blue Devils would manage only one other shot on goal.
Margaretville withstood a slow start of the 2012 campaign (2-3) to turn their season around. Before Saturday’s loss, the Blue Devils stretched an unbeaten streak of 12 contests, winning the Delaware League Upper Division title and capturing a share of the overall Delaware League crown. The Blue Devils ousted Gilboa, 2-1, last Wednesday in Section IV’s opening round before falling to Morris.