Girls soccer team falls to EHS, but clinches berth
In the highly competitive world of girls soccer in the Skyline Division of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference where teams play one another twice a year, sometimes adding a new wrinkle is a necessary gambit.
After losing to Emmaus earlier this season, Northampton head coach Michael Missmer said that they tried a couple of different formations since the Green Hornets’ staff were well aware of how they approached the match in their prior meeting.
“We figured that they’ve trained against what we did, and there were a lot of expectations from us that they were going to study the 4-4-3 the way that we do it, so we tried things that were a little bit different,” said Missmer.
He said that changed how their forwards attacked in front of Emmaus’ five-back defense, a tactic the Hornets deployed most of the game.
“We tried to adjust to be able to win the ball in front of that, and then use combinations to get behind it,” said Missmer. “Sometimes that doesn’t work.”
Missmer felt that Saturday morning’s match, in which they lost 3-1 to Emmaus, may have been a case of not preparing them as well as he would have liked when rolling out the new formations.
While they wound up dropping the rematch 3-1 to their division foes, they were able to secure a playoff berth last week, and will now look to bolster their fifth-place position among the 15 4A schools in District 11.
As the match got underway, Missmer said that things looked good early, but the ball just didn’t bounce their way.
Emmaus took a 2-0 lead, a dangerous lead in any soccer match, said Missmer.
Northampton then seized the momentum, cutting the lead to a 2-1on a goal by Isabella Nota.
Missmer said that Nota is one of the best technical players he’s ever seen.
“I think we saw repeatedly today that she would draw into attackers, and then through the magic of her feet, she was able to come through with the ball,” said Missmer. “If Nota’s in the box with the ball at her feet, there’s a pretty good chance it’s going in the back of the net.”
Once they got on the board, he said that the team started playing well, but Emmaus answered with their third goal, handing the Kids their fourth loss.
Missmer said that you want to win these battles in the season, but in the big picture, losing the early matches doesn’t equate to losing the postseason matches that matter.
“We’re hoping to get to districts to start our second season, and take those games one at a time,” said Missmer.
He also said that the team is still in a good spot as they approach the final four games of the regular season. He said that they’ll watch the game film and see what they can glean from the match.
“We’ll see what we did well and what we didn’t do well in this game,” said Missmer.
He said that they’re one of the best possession teams he’s seen, and they simply got away from that in the match against Emmaus.
“When we get away from that, we get ourselves in trouble,” he said.
The Kids have all division games remaining, with three out the final four contests at home, starting with Whitehall on Monday.
The girls won 4-3 over the Zephs, thanks to three second half goals.
Abbi Czarnecki had a goal and an assist in the win while Alex Benedict, Raine Korpics and Madison Eisenhart also scored.
Becky Galicki added an assist and Payce Korpics made 10 saves.