Blackman’s soccer team scored three second-half goals to knock off visiting La Vergne 3-0 at home Tuesday night at home.
Aggressive mid-field play by both teams in the first half prevented either side from mounting an attack. Blackman forward Ally Hawkins was able to fire off from 20-yards out, but it just sailed over the upper middle of the net, and La Vergne mid-fielder Idalia Soto took a free kick from the top of the box that went too far upper middle as well.
“The first half felt really chaotic,” Blackman coach Emily Harris said. “It felt like we were giving them way too much room, especially behind our midfield. They had the space to land a helicopter in front of our back line.”
Harris said that an adjustment at halftime to move to a more aggressive offensive formation fixed the issue.
“So, we made some adjustments to push our back line up, and when we did that I felt like we were able to have more numbers in our attacking half. And we were able to push some goals out of that,” she said.
Izabel Ulrich ended the first half with a one-on-one with La Vergne goalie Milagro Valesquez, which ended in a ground shot spinning just left of the goal.
She kept that momentum, and in the first four minutes of the second half, she flew down the left wing to create another one-on-one, except this time she found the net for her first of two goals.
“Everything is a team effort, but she’s a fighter,” Harris said. “She was pretty well set up, which is great. It’s what we talk about — exposing wide, cutting central and finishing.”
Hailey Brown, another forward for Blackman, used the chaos of the game to her advantage, as she scored a goal in a crowded box that first was blocked by Valesquez, but the ball ricocheted off another player into Brown’s leg and she was able to kick it in.
“That was crazy.” Brown said. “We didn’t score in the first half, so the second half was really about pressure and crunch time. We really just talked amongst ourselves and worked it out as a team, and we figured it out together. And by the time we finally scored, everybody was ecstatic and ‘go-go-go’ from there.”
La Vergne coach Brooke Quadrini is in her first season at the helm and said her players are still adjusting to a new formation and style of play.
“Possession was pretty back and forth,” Quadrini said. “It was an even game. I think we had a lot of mistakes that they capitalized on and that’s what the scoreboard shows.”