Eisenhower’s 1-0 victory at Valley Center on April 21 was not indicative of how much the Tigers dominated the game.
“You can look at the score and fool yourself into smiling (and saying), ‘Oh, we played them really good,’ ” Valley Center coach Jeff Burger said. “We gave them way more chances to score because I think the girls were a little bit frightened of them. All those girls are really skilled players.”
Despite just allowing one goal, Burger said the Hornets did not defend well. Eisenhower outshot them 13-1.
“They gave Eisenhower way too much space to dribble the ball into shooting position instead of pressuring that,” he said. “If their shots had been on goal tonight, this would have been ugly.”
Going into a strong, steady wind to start the game, the Tigers took it to the Hornets from the get-go. With Eisenhower keeping the ball in its attacking third most of the first half, Valley (5-2-1, 0-1 league) rarely had a chance to get across midfield. When the Hornets were able to venture into enemy territory, they could not generate any offense.
The only goal of the game came in the 14th minute when Brynn Suddeth got the ball into the air from about 20 yards out. Her kick against the wind floated the ball toward the goal and over the outstretched arms of Valley keeper Bethany Reeves.
“They’re going to beat you even worse if you give them five yards to decide what they want to do,” Burger said. “That’s how they got their goal. The girl got the ball 20 yards out and no one ever came to defend her. She could do what she wanted. She made a beautiful shot but my thing is contest that shot, make them earn it.”
Valley’s best chance to score came in the 35th minute. On a goal kick, Reeves got the ball into the jet stream, as it soared and bounced far down the field. Sammy Boese caught up to it and dribbled down the left sideline. She crossed to Ariel Wolff, but her shot was high and wide.
In the second half, the Tigers seemed content to bomb away from outside, taking the shots that Valley gave them. Most were from 20 or so yards out and created routine saves for Reeves.
At the other end of the field, Valley’s offense seemed to show more energy, but with the same result. The Hornets never could find any offensive consistency.
Valley played without two starters injured last week, Mikayla Vega and Courtney Yochum. Two more starters – Kim Dick and Maddie Callender – left tonight’s game because of an injury.
“We have another tough game on Thursday (against Derby) and will still be without for sure Mikayla Vega,” Burger said. “Courtney could play and the others who got hurt tonight, I don’t know.”