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SOCCER: Dover girls improve to 3-0

| August 21, 2023
Lauren Grafe, shown in an earlier game this season, scored Dover's first goal against Northwest. (photo: Memories by Lois)

CANAL FULTON – Dover defeated Northwest 2-1 in girls soccer Sunday at Mohawk Field. Lauren Grafe and Abby Jones scored for the Crimson Tornadoes.


Saturday morning the 2-0 Dover Tornadoes traveled to Canal Fulton to take on the 0-1 Northwest Indians.

We knew this was going to be a difficult game for us. We played Northwest last year and that game seemed like it could have gone either way.

This game was weirdly similar, but even closer score-wise. Unfortunately, for us, the score did not reflect how well we played. I told the girls that the first 15-20 minutes of the first half might have been the best soccer I have seen played by us in my two years as coach. It was really really fun to watch, the effort of the girls the entire game was admirable.

We learned a lot on Saturday, some good and one tough lesson about how soccer can be a cruel sport. You might control the possession and have more chances than the other team, but unless you finish your chances the game can go either way. We learned this the hard way in the 18th minute when we couldn’t clear the ball during their first corner and gave them another opportunity. They seized the next opportunity and put in a cross off their second corner to put them up 1-0.

As a coach, I think the most impressive and memorable part of Saturday was watching the girl’s reaction to the goal. Many teams would fold after that and get discouraged, but we did not.

We went back to playing our game and four minutes later we decided to finish our own opportunities when Carley Noretto laid a ball off to Lauren Grafe who one touch finished it past the goalkeeper to tie the game up.

As I mentioned in the last write-up, we always talk about the five minutes after a score. It’s critical to focus after a goal to make sure you don’t lose that momentum.

We were definitely hungry after we got the equalizer. It was great to see them continue to put the pressure on to find a goal.

After that goal, we seemed to settle into a groove and were able to find another goal about seven minutes after Lauren’s when Abby Jones beat her defender to the side of the eighteen and hit a well-placed shot over the Northwest goalkeeper to find the side netting.

That goal turned out to be the game-winner.

The second half was very intense and if it weren’t for Caroline Metzger (Northwest’s goalkeeper) we could have scored a couple more. She made some great reads off her line and made some big saves for Northwest.

Overall, if you were a soccer fan, you really enjoyed the entire game, but the second half was intense. It was back and forth with each team having its own moments of possession and chances, but both teams only bending not breaking.

We are really starting to gel as a team and finding our way. We hope to continue getting a little better each game because we know we have two tough matchups this week. First, on Thursday, we travel to take on Marietta, and then on Saturday an always tough matchup against crosstown rival New Philadelphia at 5 p.m. at Crater Stadium.

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