By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO The host Monticello Lady Panthers kept the ball in the Sullivan West half of the field a great deal of the time in Tuesday afternoon’s non-league soccer match at Monticello High School.
Monticello outshot the Lady Bulldogs 18 to 7 on the way to a 3-0 victory.
Annie Purcell scored the Lady Panthers’ first goal just 3:09 into the contest. She kicked the ball into the center of the net from close range.
Mara Resnick assisted Purcell on the goal.
Over the next 20-plus minutes, Monticello (2-4) sent several shots at the SW net. While some of the shots sailed just wide of the goal cage, Lady Bulldogs’ goalkeeper Cassidy Sauer made saves on the shots that had a chance of going into the net.
However, the Lady Panthers were able to score another goal at the 27:18 mark. Sauer tried to stop the ball in front of the net, but the ball bounced off her hands. Resnick was the first player to get to the ball and kicked it towards the goal cage. The ball was only a few inches off the ground as it sailed into the back of the net to give Monticello a 2-0 lead.
Kerissa Bennett was credited with an assist on the tally.
Monticello’s Heather Miller scored the final goal of the afternoon with 15:13 elapsed in the second half. Miller gained control of the ball right in front of the goal cage and quickly kicked it into the net.
SW (3-5) had perhaps its best chance to score a goal when the team earned a corner kick with about two minutes remaining in the match. Hannah Feinman took the corner kick and sent the ball into a group of players directly in front of the goal cage. But Monticello’s Purcell jumped up and headed the ball away from the Lady Bulldogs who were standing near the goal ready to take a shot.
While SW had only that one corner kick, Monticello took six corner kicks.
Sauer finished the contest with 15 saves, while Monticello goalie Katrina Zicot made three saves.
“We were trying to rebound from a loss to Port Jervis on Saturday,” Monticello Coach Bill Stento said. “They beat us 3-1 in that game.”
Stento noted that a key to the Lady Panthers’ victory over SW was the way they passed the ball.
“Annie Purcell passed the ball very well in the midfield for us,” he said. “And everybody else passed the ball well.
“We worked well together and had a lot of good passes and good shots on goal,” Stento continued. “We just really played a good team game today.”
SW Coach Mike Ellmauer noted that his team has had a tough start to the season.
“We’re a work in progress,” he said. “We have a lot of young and inexperienced players. And we have some players who are injured.
“We are struggling right now,” Ellmauer added. “But we are going to keep playing hard and trying to get better in every game.”