In driving rain, Cambridge upends Waterford

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CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. — On a day more suited for an arc and pairs of animals, the Cambridge girls soccer team battled the elements and Waterford, coming out with a 4-2 victory on a rain-soaked Monday afternoon.

"We've been working on short passes with our backs to the goal and passing it behind [the defense]," said Cambridge coach Joe Celeste. "[The] passing was phenomenal in the rain."

Twins Sophie and Lilly Phillips filled up the score sheet, with Sophie scoring a pair of goals and Lilly adding a goal and an assist.

Taylor Stallmer also scored for the Indians, her second goal of the season.

The teams took a few minutes to find their footing in the driving rain, but Cambridge broke through first about halfway through the opening half. Sophie Phillips scored her third goal of the year being in the right place at the right time. Rhiannon Darling had a free kick just outside the penalty area that she hit off the crossbar. The ball came down right to Phillips, who settled it and knocked it past Waterford keeper Caer Burns for the lead.

"Last year we played the big boot because we had players like Miranda Seacord to run on [the pass]," Celeste said. "Now they understand the technicalities of the game, they understand the short pass and work more on offense. [Rhiannon] hit the crossbar twice today. She's performed her role beautifully, we made her a captain this year for a reason."

Cambridge doubled the advantage 90 seconds before halftime. Also coming off a deflection, Stallmer found the back of the net as the Indians went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

The rain slowed a bit in the beginning of the second half, and Waterford cut the Cambridge lead in half. Addy Galuski hit a shot that tipped off Brecke Gifford and trickled into the net to make it 2-1, but Cambridge immediately regained its two-goal lead.

Deep in the Waterford end, Cambridge played a cross toward the front of the net that a Waterford defender failed to clear. Anna Headwell gained control, slipped a pass to Lilly Phillips and the sophomore calmly put it in to go up 3-1 with about 20 minutes to go.

Waterford continued to battle as the rain picked up again and found paydirt. Annelise Rebel maneuvered her way through the Cambridge back line and fired a shot past Gifford for a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes left.

Pushing ahead looking for an equalizer, Waterford moved up a couple more players in attack but the Indians defense was up to the task, holding onto the single-goal lead.

"Ruth [Nolan] and Rhiannon sit back and mop up anything coming their way," Celeste said.

The twins clinched it in the final minute as Lilly found Sophie for her second goal of the day and the 4-2 victory.

"The telepathy is just there, they just know where the other one is, so I'm lucky," Celeste said. "Sophie is a ballplayer and Lilly can outdribble anybody who goes at her. When they can both score goals and have assists, it's good for us."

Gifford had eight saves for Cambridge while Burns stopped six shots for the Fordians.

"Brecke has waited her turn for that role and she's a quiet leader for us," Celeste said.

Cambridge improves to 2-1-1 and travels to Berlin on Wednesday.


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