On the chase

Titusville midfielder Emma Cartney (42) and defender Courtney Erickson (10) pursue a ball kicked by a Corry Beavers player Wednesday, at the Ed Myer Complex.

Despite a strong defensive showing which seemed impassable at times, the Titusville girls Rockets soccer team was unable to transition into a successful attack and fell to the Corry Beavers, 2-0.

Wednesday’s game kicked off with Corry almost immediately making a push on Titusville’s goal which, while blocked by goalie Emily Finley, set a tone for much of the match.

At first, the Rockets seemed to foil every attack the Badgers made, thwarting runs by knocking the ball out of bounds and killing the visiting teams’ momentum. Defender Kassidee Szympruch and midfielder Emma Cartney had particularly good showings in this respect, the duo managing to keep any clear shots from manifesting.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Titusville team worked on keeping the ball in the midfield for the most part. Defender Lindsey Kemp even stepped out her usual comfort zone, moving the ball up near the Beaver’s edge of the field, with midfielder Nicole Jackson assisting on many such drives.

However, the Rockets were unable to maintain staying power on the offense, with the ball usually not sticking around by Corry’s goal for long before it would either move back to the other side of the field or stay stuck in the middle. Slowly, Titusville was pushed onto the back step and ground down under several attacks on goal. While they held strong, a chink in the amor was finally found 27 minutes into the match when a Corry kick bounced off the top post of Titusville’s net and found its way past Finley.

Down by one, the Rockets attempted a push back, with forward Patricia Siana almost lining up a shot against the Beaver net before defenders managed to get the ball away from her.

Corry launched an offensive in retaliation, resulting in a close call for Titusville. A Beaver attacker kicked the ball towards Titusville’s net, with Finley diving to block. However, the ball bounced off her and landed close to another Corry player, setting the Beavers up for a kick too close for comfort. Finley was quick on her feet, however, and managed to block the shot as well.

After a series of near-goals, the Rockets managed to work play up to the midfield and keep it there for the remainder of the first half, down 1-0.

Heading into the second stanza, midfield play became the name of the game, as both teams bunkered down and were unable to launch many attacks on net. After a Corry shot just barely deflected off Titusville’s goal post away from the netting early in the half, there were few major plays.

Once more, however, the Rockets were slowly pushed back. The Beavers finally managed to notch another goal with a high kick that soared over Titusville defenders.

Now down by two, Titusville prioritized their defense, with defender Courtney Erickson blocking a kick right in front of the Rockets’ net shortly after the goal, and sending play into the midfield for an extended period once more.

While the home team managed to prevent any more goals, time ran out for a big offense.

Despite the loss, Titusville coach Joey Timon was positive of his team’s performance, especially as the Rockets had previously lost to the Beavers 4-0.

“Defensively, I think we were pretty strong, and that led to more attacks and counters,” Timon said.

The team has reason to celebrate, according to Timon, as two of the three upcoming matches for the Rockets are against teams they beat previously. Titusville will take on Conneaut Area Senior High on Oct. 16, and Oil City on Oct. 18. However, they’ll first have to challenge Villa Maria Academy on Saturday, at 11 a.m.

Ray can be reached, by email, at sray@titusvilleherald.com.

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