Two penalty kicks off handballs were the difference as West Holmes defeated Dover 3-1 Wednesday in a clash of the top two teams in the East District.
Dover Coach James Kline:
We knew it was going to be a tough game. West Holmes has a lot of really talented players on their roster and they are always well coached. The first 20 minutes of the game was really intense. Both teams were playing at a very high level with each team having their chances, but both defenses holding strong. Then, with 16 minutes left in the half, an unfortunate bounce led to a handball in the box that earned West Holmes a penalty kick that they converted. The girls battled well after that to try and find a goal for ourselves. For the remainder of the half both teams battled well and the half ended 1-0.
We decided to switch our formation to help defensively in the middle of the field and to try to open some space on the outside to work, but West Holmes came out fast in the second half and scored a second goal 20 seconds into the half. Again, credit goes to our girls though because their effort would have never made you think they were losing 2-0. Then, with six minutes to go in the second half Bridget McCrate earned a penalty kick for us. Carley Noretto stepped up and converted the penalty for us making the score 2-1 with just over six minutes to go. You could feel the energy rise after this goal and it was going to make for a fun last couple of minutes. Then, bad luck struck again when we had another handball in the box that allowed West Holmes to score another penalty kick to put them up 3-1.
Elizabeth Lane has an incredible in goal with 17 saves. Even though the scoreboard showed that we gave up three goals, keep in mind two of those were penalty kicks. She made some huge saves to keep a lot of other shots out. Plus, it’s rare to see a penalty kick in a game let alone three of them which will make for an interesting rematch if both teams meet in the playoffs.
The loss brings Dover’s overall record to 6-3-2 with another big East District matchup against Tri-Valley on Saturday at home. Kickoff is at 10:00 AM (JV) and 12:00 PM (V).