Assistant Sports Editor
ARLINGTON -- It took the Black River girls soccer team under 20 seconds to score against the Arlington Memorial High School girls, and the Presidents would go on to win 4-2.
Morgan Kathan scored the opener for the Presidents, receiving the ball just over the halfway line before splitting the two central defenders for the Eagles to get in on goal. The time on the clock read 39:42.
A little shell shocked from the goal, the Eagles took a few minutes to grow into the game. The Presidents continued to try and pin the Eagles down in their defensive end, and Eagles goalie Hannah Andrew (17 saves) had to parry away two more shots by Kathan before the team could push forward.
When the Eagles did finally get forward, the team was able to get the ball out wide, but could not find a target inside the penalty area.
Molly Elwell had the best chance for the Eagles in the early going, putting in a cross to Avery Bucchieri, but the ball went just over Bucchieri's head.
The Presidents would double their lead with 15:30 left in the first half. Kathan set up this goal, teeing up Sarah Rumrill. Rumrill drifted towards the left wing, then put her shot back across the face of goal for the 2-0 advantage.
"That was a good team we played tonight," Eagles captain Julia Lacoste said.
The Eagles were able to pull one goal back before the break.
Elwell was again at the center of the action. Making a menacing run in the Presidents' box, Elwell was hip checked by Blakely Gilmore. The referee pointed right to the spot, awarding the penalty.
Brooke Hawley stepped up to take the kick for the Eagles. Staring down Presidents keeper Leslie Bixby, Hawley forced Bixby to her left before hitting the ball in the opposite direction.
"[Hawley] is really good at penalties," Lacoste said. "In practice, she usually hits them all."
Bucchieri almost levelled things on the restart. In a promising position inside the penalty area, Bucchieri went to make one more touch on the ball, but it was too heavy and the Presidents were able to clear.
In the second half, Kathan came out firing for the Presidents.
She had two shots right away, shooting over and then wide. But on a corner kick just three minutes in, Kathan was able to find the net again.
The ball bounced on the kick, floating dangerously in the box. After missing one Black River player, the ball fell to Kathan, who hit it on a half-volley and into the top of the net with just over 3 minutes gone in the second half.
But the Eagles would not lay down. Just 22 seconds after Kathan's second, LaCoste was played in by Hawley and was able to smash the ball home to make it a 3-2 game.
The pressure, however, was just starting. The Presidents continued pushing forward, trying to find the insurance goal they needed for the win. Kathan missed a sitter inside the area, then on another opportunity put a shot right at Andrew.
The Eagles' luck ran out, however, when Abigail Schmidt mimicked a slalom run down the right flank.
Working her way between the Eagles defense, Schmidt ran roughly 60 yards with the ball until she was in on goal. Attacking from the right, she put her shot across the face of goal and into the side netting to make it 4-2.
Elwell tried to bring the Eagles back into the game throughout the final 25 minutes, but she sent one shot just over the bar and had one shot saved at a tight angle.
At the other end, Andrew pushed back six shots by the Presidents to not allow another goal in.
Eagles defender Shelby Baker also did her part throughout the game to try and keep the Presidents off of the scoreboard.
While Black River was able to find holes in the defense to exploit, Baker was able to backtrack on several occasions to make clearances when the Presidents looked in on goal.
The Presidents move to 2-0 on the season, while the Eagles fall to 0-2. The Eagles will take to the pitch again on Monday for a home match against Leland & Gray.
In the mean time, the Eagles return to the drawing board on the practice field.
While the team looked good in stretches, Lacoste said that the team might make some adjustments.
"We are going to change some things up and work on some new things," she said.
"But I think we just need to push the ball up more and communicate better."