The Lady Trojans made it two in a row as they downed the Spring Valley Grizzlies 2-0.
Early in the game on Monday afternoon Sydney Dennis scored the only goal of the first half. Also in the early part of the half the Trojans temporarily lost Paige Chafee, who was hit in the face with a soccer ball. She left the game and is expected to return.
According to Trojans Coach Pam Larmouth, Chafee was taken out because the ball hit her in the teeth, causing her to chip a bottom tooth.
Chafee’s departure meant the Trojans had to adapt their offense. The absence of Chafee kept the Trojans scoring to just one goal in the first half.
At the start of the second half, the Trojans kept pounding away at the Grizzlies goal. Yesenia Garcia and Vaniah Vitto led the onslaught. The two came down the field multiple times until 18:31 left to play. At that point, Garcia made a perfect pass to Vitto. It was a crossing pass from right to left and Vitto chipped it into the goal from three yards out in front of the goal. It was the second and last goal of the game. Defender Ashlyn DiBasi said it was a perfect pass. “Vaniah was just there at the right time and place,” she said.
The Trojans kept the pressure on for the remainder of the game with a few corner kicks and one penalty kick, but failed to put the ball into the net. The girls are now 6-2 overall and 3-1-0 in league play. At the same time, Spring Valley was kept mostly on their side of the field.
Larmouth said that being shorthanded on the field has meant her younger players like Vitto and Garcia have received valuable playing time. “This has been very good for our freshmen like Vaniah. She played most of the game. She really stepped up and played. We also got a lot of experience in our midfield, which was good. We had to make up for Alyssa and so the others played their hearts out. With Paige gone today, we liked to push Ashlyn up and she was full of energy and this gave our team a boost. Normally this is what Paige does for us,” she said.
The Trojans said they followed their game plan. The coach liked playing Garcia on the top. This worked out for them and it resulted in a goal for the team. “Our game plan is to basically play harder than the other team,” Larmouth said.
Alyssa Turner is still out. She was dressed in uniform and warmed up with the team, but she said it was difficult.
Senior Ashlyn DiBlasi is a veteran player and remembers a time when the team could go undefeated. Times are changing, but she does not think the Trojans are out of anything yet. “The injuries gave everyone a chance to step things up. There are a lot of girls here who are younger than our past team. Last year everyone was older and everyone had played with each other for years. Now the younger girls are learning. The injuries have given the girls a chance to play at a higher level,” she said.
With Turner out, Diblasi said it has been hard on the defense. “Me, Alyssa and Brittany have played defense together for so long. Without her it has been a lot of hard work,” DiBlasi remarked.
The one loss has given DiBlasi a different perspective on the team. “Since we got beat by Clark, it has opened the team’s eyes. In the past, we just beat this team and when we played them the last time the girls didn’t play to their fullest abilities and so we know we can’t let up on any team,” she said. This year has brought out the coach in DiBlasi. She says she talks more on the field. “In the past, I never said anything. It is definitely different and I like it now,” she said.