MEDINA — With scoring chances and open looks in front of the net hard to come by, the team that made the most of limited opportunities found a way to grind out a hard-fought win.
The Medina girls soccer team capitalized on its chances Monday in a 2-0 non-league victory over Holy Name.
“For the last four weeks, we just showed a lot of heart and maturity,” said Medina coach Doug Coreno, whose team improved to 9-2-3. “We’ve been in a lot of battles. We try to play as tough a schedule as possible every year, so when this time of year — and, more importantly, when the playoffs roll around — we’re battle tested. The weather, the atmosphere, it kind of had the feel of a playoff match, and we treated it that way in terms of our effort. The girls were rewarded for that.”
The first shot on goal didn’t come until 18:30 left in the first half. That chance was an inside-the-box rocket from Green Wave forward Sarah Krause that goalkeeper Jordan Reynolds (3 saves) made a spectacular diving save on.
The next chance belonged to Medina, and the Bees didn’t let it slip by.
Hannah Ludwig nearly broke free from a pair defenders before being bottled up and passing back to Brianna Shingary. Shingary fired a high, arcing shot over the defense and goalkeeper Paige Reiss (3 saves) that looked at first like it might sail over the crossbar. But the ball caught just enough of the bar that it bounced directly down and just over the line.
The play was so close it took officials a few seconds to rule the goal good.
“It was on my left foot and I cut it back to my right,” the junior forward said. “Then back to my left and beat her and went forward with it and took a shot.”
The Medina defense made it stand up.
“The main key to defense is to just stay compact and not let them get a touch on the ball,” defender Haley Knox said. “We basically did that and we shut them down when they got the ball. That was our goal — to not let them turn and go at us.”
Holy Name (8-3-2) got the first solid chance of the second half off a corner kick. The shots were blocked by defenders, including a sliding kick save by Amy Bobonik just feet in front of the line, before the Bees got possession and cleared.
“They took advantage and we didn’t,” Holy Name coach Brian Michelson said. “I thought we had four or five good opportunities. A couple on some corner kicks, a couple down in the first half. The goalie made a great save in both halves to take our goal opportunities away.”
Medina picked up the pace in the second half and took advantage when it got its second solid scoring chance.
A Shingary pass set up Nicole Bennett, who dribbled toward the right post and fired across the box to beat Reiss low-left for the clincher with 14:37 to play.
“This was just a typical soccer match between two top-ranked teams,” Coreno said. “There is going to be a lot of play in the midfield. It’s not going to be 6-5; you’re not going to have 30 chances. When you’re playing a great team, you’re going to have six, seven, eight chances and we capitalized on two of them.”
Contact Chad Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.