Save and set piece key in Chase win over East
Chase girls soccer coach Scott Hopper has focused on set pieces in practice over the course of the season.
As they say ‘practice makes perfect’ as a corner kick in the 75th minute paced the Trojans to a 1-0 win at East Rutherford Monday night.
Christiana Jimenez delivered a corner kick to the front of the net where Monica Jimenez tapped home the game-winner.
“It’s so nice to see when something you have been working on in practice pays off,” Hopper said. “I want to give East tons of credit. They are better than their record shows. They have a great defense. I knew that if we scored against them it would come off a set piece and that’s what happened.”
For the Cavaliers, the loss was the latest in a string of tough losses. Five of East’s losses this season have been decided by no more than one goal.
“If the ball bounces the other way on that goal, we clear it and we are still tied,” said Neil VanDyke, East head coach. “I’m proud of the way the team fought. We were just unlucky tonight.”
Chase (4-6, 4-4 South Mountain Athletic Conference) controlled the match in the early going with Christiana Jimenez making several runs, but she could not find the back of the net.
East (0-8) responded with a counter attack with Chyenne Deyton leading the break down the near side of the pitch. Chase was forced to foul, but Hanna Wright’s free kick was just wide.
Much of the rest of the half evolved into a battle for possession at midfield. Even so, each team had one golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard. The first came when Wright beat her defender, but she collided with Chase goalie Harley Cline and the ball was eventually cleared. Moments later, Christiana Jimenez delivered a cross, but East goalkeeper Emily Elgin made a diving stop to keep the match scoreless.
After being moved to midfield, Elgin had a shot before halftime as she broke down the middle of the field. Cline rushed out of goal to make a finger-tip save but the ball rolled back to Elgin. Despite the second effort, Cline saved the rebound, sticking her leg out while lying on the ground, to knock the ball away.
“What a save,” VanDyke said. “Nine times out of 10 Emily scores there and she’s walking back to midfield with a 1-0 lead. That was a great play. There’s not much you can do about that.”
“I taught her that move,” Hopper said with a grin. “In all seriousness though, she seems to make a play like that every night.”
The save seemed to energize the Trojan offense as Chase continued to push forward in the second half. After several set pieces, it was Christiana Jimenez’s corner in the latter stages of the game that led to the winner.
In other action, Thomas Jefferson (1-3-1, 1-1 Southern Piedmont) surrendered a goal in the 77th minute in a 1-0 loss to Lincoln Charter.