Rangers edged by ChieftainsPublished 10:27pm Thursday, March 29, 2012
DOWAGIAC — A strong wind didn’t really play a factor in the season opener for the Dowagiac soccer team Tuesday.
A stiff wind was expected to give each team the advantage for one half, but in reality, it played no part in the Chieftains’ 2-1 victory over visiting Cassopolis.
All three goals were scored into the wind.
Rangers’ coach Oli Olafsson said that not scoring when his team had the wind advantage in the first half played into the loss.
“That was huge. There is no doubt about it,” Olafsson responded when asked about the first half. “We talked about it before the game and during the game. As a matter of fact, they (Dowagiac) didn’t have that big of advantage as we did in the first half as we did with the wind.
“We were on the attack there was no question about that. We dominated possession, but we just couldn’t score.”
Dowagiac (1-0) scored a goal in the opening minute of the match as senior Breanna Williams took a pass from senior Lauren Krueger and got past the Cassopolis (1-1) defense for a one-on-one with the Ranger keeper Molly Moroz.
Moroz was unable to stop Williams and the Chieftains had a 1-0 advantage.
The final goal of the match also came in the first half for the Chieftains.
Dowagiac Alejandro Cano was fouled in the box and the Chieftains were awarded a penalty kick with just over five minutes remaining in the first half.
Williams took the kick and easily beat Moroz to extend the Chieftains’ advantage to 2-0.
“Our goal was to keep it on the ground,” Dowagiac coach Mike Williams said. “I told them to kick on the ground and feed it to the outside. Our whole thing is to feed it to the outside and keep it away from the center because of Meagan (Ruff) and Jessica (Waldschmidt). Literally just make it through the half 0-0. I would have been fine with that because of the wind.
“We were fortunate to get a quick one-on-one that Bre got it through her some how and then we got the PK there.”
The two teams looked as if they were going to be unable to get the ball into the net in the second half, but finally with 16:27 remaining in the match, Cassopolis’ Ruff got a shot past Dowagiac senior keeper Alyssa Fritz to cut the Chieftains’ lead to 2-1.
Over the final 16 minutes, both teams had a couple of quality scoring chances, but could not get the ball past either keeper. In fact, Moroz made a couple of outstanding saves to keep the Rangers in the match.
“It’s hard for a goalie in the wind to judge the ball,” Olafsson said. “All of a sudden the ball is going too slow or too fast. She did a good job.”
Neither team got a lot of shots off during the match. Defense seemed to rule the day.
Cassopolis held a 23-10 advantage in shots on goal with both Moroz and Fritz getting credit for six saves.
Dowagiac 2, Cassopolis 0
D – Breanna Williams 1st minute (Lauren Krueger assist)
D – Williams 35th minute (penalty kick)
Meagan Ruff 63rd minute
Shots on goal
Cassopolis 6 (Molly Moroz)
Dowagiac 6 (Alyssa Fritz)