Carpenter's two goals push Waverly past Whitney Point
WAVERLY, N.Y. - Waverly's ace striker Liia Carpenter was the difference in the game Wednesday.
When she was in Whitney Point had little answer for her up front and when she went out play was much more even. It was her two unassisted goals that pushed the Wolverines to a 2-0 win over the Golden Eagles in Class B, Section IV girls' soccer play.
"It feels really good," Carpenter said about the win. "As seniors we definitely want to go as far as we can and tonight if we lost it would have been our last game. That would have been really disappointing."
The muddy conditions from Tuesday's rain made it difficult for Waverly to connect their passes and much of the play got bogged down.
"It's always nice to get a first round win," Wolverine coach Brian Myers said. "A lot of times in year passed you don't see too many times with two teams with 13 wins playing in the first round. I knew they would be tough coming in and field conditions you worried about. The thing is you won't be able to play a perfect game every game and to still be able to pull off a win in section play always feels good when you do it."
Regardless, though, Waverly controlled most of the game's action and when Whitney Point was able to get some of their own offense going the Wolverine defense led by Allie Frutchey was able to keep the clean sheet.
Waverly took a quick lead as Carpenter got her first goal unassisted 58 seconds into the game.
"I don't believe it," she remarked about the goal. "Honestly I've never scored that quick in a game before."
Carpenter believes going up quick was good for the Wolverines.
"We were kind of worried that coming in it was going to be tough competition because were rated the same in the state," she explained. "It definitely showed that we can play them."
The Wolverines kept the pressure on after that as at 36 and 29 minutes they were able to get the Whitney Point goalie Erin Hamm out of the net and at 27 minutes Emiley Myers had a direct kick ricocheted off the crossbar. None of the opportunities produced goals but it looked like it was only a matter of time before the Wolverines struck again.
Then Carpenter was forced to leave the game with an injury and the momentum slowly began to turn.
Whitney Point was able to push the game into the middle third more and at 12 minutes and 11:10 tested the Waverly defense and Frutchey.
The Wolverines held and Waverly took their 1-0 lead into the break.
"It was really scary," Carpenter said about having to watch from the bench. "I don't like it when it gets in our 20."
Waverly started the second half much like the first, coming out strong with another scoring attempt at 37:40 that once again got Hamm out of the net.
Things only got better for Waverly as Carpenter checked back in at 32:59. She tested the Whitney Point defense immediately, hitting a hard shot that was just wide of the goal the first time she touched the ball.
At 26:40 she got another chance and made the most of it. After dribbling through a couple Point defensive backs she found herself alone with the goalie and buried the ball in the back of the net to put Waverly up 2-0,
"I'm glad I could help the team out," Carpenter said about her second goal. "Especially being off most of the first half."
After that the two team's traded scoring chances with Frutchey forced to make a leaping save at 19:30 to keep the shutout while Carpenter just missed the hat trick with a shot that went wide right at 15:42.
Late in the game Point made a late push with Brittney Randall in particular making Frutchey's life tough with some hard shots. Frutchey had to make a leaping save on one Randall attempt while another Randall shot was just wide left and hit hard off the post.
It was that kind of day for the Eagles as they got a couple openings late in both halves but crack the Waverly defense.
The Wolverines out shot Point 13-7 and had more corner kicks 3-2.
Frutchey stopped seven shots while Hamm made 11 saves in goal.
Waverly will now focus their attention to top seed Oneonta when they travel there on Saturday. "Definitely not giving up and playing as a team the entire time and not giving up no matter what," Carpenter said about their keys the upcoming match against the second ranked team in the state.
Myers wants to get his focused on playing their best and not worrying about Oneonta.
"I'm not going to work on anything gearing towards Oneonta," he explained. "Were just going to focus on playing the best we can play within ourselves and however the Oneonta game turns out its going to be that way. You have to improve yourselves and be perfect yourselves before you can prepare for another team."
The top seed boasts a strong side.
"I hear they are pretty deep," Myers said. "Their midfield is solid, their forwards are really fast. But, honestly, I think we can play with anybody when were playing well and hopefully Saturday we go play them we'll give them our best performance. If we can do that, win or lose, I think that's all you can ask for out of your kids."
The second year coach believes his kids are ready for the task.
"They definitely have the mindset," he said. "We feel were as good as anybody in our section, Class B and we'll see what happens when we go play them."