With 13:22 remaining in the second half, Marshall’s Emma Mernaugh collected a pass from the left side from the middle of the pitch about 16 yards away from Worthington’s net, and punched it in just under the crossbar.
That was the only goal scored in Monday’s girls varsity soccer game played at Trojan Field on a cold, breezy, drizzly night, and it gave the Tigers a 1-0 victory.
Meanwhile, in Marshall, the WHS boys scored three first half goals and held on for a 3-0 win, remaining undefeated for the season. It was the first of four games the Trojan boys will play this week.
Worthington 3, Marshall 0
MARSHALL -- Worthington got first half goals from Jonathan Banegas, Elmer Guzman and Juan Vela. Two of the goals were on rebounds.
“It was mainly our guys following the shots,” head coach Juan Flores said about the first-half scoring success.
Marshall stressed defense on Monday, putting special emphasis on defending Worthington’s fastest players. But the Trojans moved the ball very well, said Flores, who added that he thought his boys outplayed the Tigers in both halves.
“Compared to the last two games, I think this was a step up for us,” he declared. “I think getting some momentum from that win was good for us going into this week.”
Worthington 3 0 -- 3
Marshall 0 0 -- 0
Marshall 1, Worthington 0
WORTHINGTON -- The Trojans played Marshall to a 0-0 tie for nearly 67 minutes, employing a successful defensive strategy that dropped players back to form a wide barrier. Worthington switched to a new defense this fall, and it appears to be working. But head coach Emily Ahlquist said the time spent on the defense hasn’t allowed the team as much time to concentrate on the offensive side.
“And it showed,” she declared.
After the Tigers finally scored, their own defense proved up to the task.
For most of the contest, when Worthington had rare opportunities to score, there were not enough connecting passes to turn those opportunities into serious threats. Several times when the Trojans had possession of the ball on breakaways, teammates weren’t near enough to pass to.
“We go to the ball and we get to the ball, and then we instantly lose it,” said Ahlquist, whose team dropped to 2-8.
Neither team, in fact, took many good shots in the first half, but with 28:42 to go till halftime WHS goalkeeper Chantel Peralta made a nice leaping save at the center area of the net.
Marshall immediately took possession at the start of the second half and put a shot on goal, missing the left post. The Tigers had a few more shots to take, but they took them too early and seemed to lack aggressiveness at the crucial moment. With little more than 28 minutes remaining in the half, they had perhaps their best opportunity yet with a free kick directly in front of the Worthington net about 17 yards away, but kicked it in the middle of the Trojans’ line of defense.
But it only takes one good kick to break a 0-0 tie. Mernaugh hit her shot just right.
Marshall 0 1 -- 1
Worthington 0 0 -- 0