Amherst hosted the Berea-Midpark Titans last Wednesday in what turned into a highly physical but skillfully played match.
The Comets were a little slow in organizing their defense in the first half of the first period, allowing an early goal by Titan Olivia Muldoon five minutes in.
But were saved by the fearless defense of goalkeeper RaeAnn Barnes. She put her body on the line numerous times and produced five saves in the half.
“She gave us some really good saves, major stops. I’m very proud of her,” said coach Gary Gonzalez.
As the Comets defense started to stiffen, the offense got its legs. Emily Gray scored the first Amherst goal seven minutes into the half with an assist by Kate Anderson.
“It was nice to see them bounce back from the early hole they got themselves in. They didn’t get deflated. They held their spirits up. I’m very proud of them for that,” Gonzalez said.
Then Ally Perkins went to work. A cross by Taylor Moore to Perkins resulted in her first goal 23 minutes into the match. With just 4:19 remaining she scored again on a breakaway run for the goal to put Amherst up 3-1.
The Titans came back with another score a minute later on a Natalie Dignan kick over Barnes’ head and off the bar, making for a slim 3-2 Comets lead going into the halftime break.
Returning to the field, Amherst played an even better second half.
Passing, trapping, and stripping the ball held the Titans to just five shots in the half. Perkins continued her leadership in the center, feeding the ball and directing the offensive drives with some help from team members coming off the injured list.
“They’re all finally getting healthy. This was the second game for Veronica Sakola (and) first game back for Tayler Strehle. She only played a few minutes at the end. We’re hoping that now that we have a week break, we can get them healthier and playing more together,” said Gonzalez. “With more discipline, the more (Perkins) works there, she gets better and better. I like that with Veronica being back gives us the ability to move Ally around the field.”
Perkins made her hat trick just three minutes into the period.
A shot on goal by Moore was blocked by Titans goalkeeper Jena Herold. The rebound landed near Perkins, who promptly booted it home.
After two assists it was Moore’s turn for a goal. She made her shot with 16:35 on the clock to boost the Comets to a 5-2 lead, which held for the rest of the match.
Carl Sullenberger can be reached at email@example.com.
Photos by Carl Sullenberger | Amherst News-Times Leading Comets scorer Taylor Moore had four goals and two assists in the 5-2 Southwestern Conference win last Wednesday over the Berea-Midpark Titans.