Girls soccer: Hampshire blanks Dundee-Crown
Updated: April 12, 2012 9:48PM
Making crosses and good team play are all well and good, but sometimes you’ve just got to shoot for the net.
Hampshire’s Natalie Starrenburg on Thursday against visiting Dundee-Crown had been doing what the Whip-Purs practiced on Wednesday — making good crossing passes to the front — but connections kept failing. Finally, 10 minutes into the second half she changed it up and drilled one into the upper right corner of the net from 35 yards out on the far left wing for the match’s first goal to start Hampshire on the way to a 3-0 nonconference victory.
“In practice yesterday, we’d just been working on getting to the corners and crossing it in, so my main goal was just to cross it into the middle and see what I can get from it.
“I did go for the net on that one (goal). I saw there was an open path, so I just went for it and got it in.”
Shortly thereafter, Starrenburg applied the cross and it also led to a goal. She knocked a perfect pass into the middle and teammate Helena VanEck booted it point blank past Chargers keeper Allison Bakewell for a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
“She does a really good job creating chances with what basically is a corner (kick) for us,” Hampshire coach Pat O’Brien said. “She’s so fast that she’s able to make those streaking runs to be where she needs to be in order to finish.”
Hampshire had also worked on rebounds and its final goal came with 11 minutes remaining when VanEck simply got a loose ball that had caromed around in front of the goal and put it into an empty net.
“Those corner-outside drills, they really worked for this game,” Starrenburg said. “We had headers, corners, and everything we wanted.
“Early in the year we were on a one-goal thing and we’d tie 1-1, so finally it seems like we’ve broken the curse and we got free.”
Hampshire (3-4-3) outshot Dundee-Crown 20-9 overall and controlled play early without finishing. It was typical of how the Whip-Purs played earlier in the year.
“We’d been playing very defensive through the first several games based on our personnel and based on some of the teams we were playing — we wanted to stay defense,” O’Brien said. “We were only going with one forward for some games.
“So then we decided to change it up and wanted to go a little more on the offensive. Then we started getting some chances and finally in the second half today we finished on those chances.”
Bakewell stood her ground through extended first-half pressure. She came away with 17 saves.
“I think it was fatigue setting in on that first goal,” Chargers coach Sebastian Falinski said. “It all goes back to our bad passing. We lose possession and they have us on our heels the entire time and we’re on defense an entire half.”
The Chargers (1-10) weren’t without chances despite getting only nine shots on goal. Carolyn Schneider missed with the wide side of the net completely open on a breakaway early in the second half, while Hampshire goalie Haylee Moscato robbed Emi Connejo on a point blank shot after a perfect cross to the goal mouth later in the second half.
“It’s bothersome because our girls put in great effort and our mistakes come back to haunt us, but it seems like other teams mistakes don’t come back to haunt them,” Falinski said.