"Mercer County came out hungry and I was impressed," Boyle coach Brian Deem said. "They wanted that game so bad and we did not want it at all. We'll have to wait and see if we ever decide to get hungry again this year. I'm not sure if that's going to happen. That's a decision the girls are going to have to make, not me."
Speed, desire propelled Mercer
Mercer's speed and desire devoured Boyle, as the Scotties were able to improve on one sore spot from Tuesday's game: winning the 50-50 balls.
Where Mercer was timid against Model, according to Dodson, the Scotties fought for every ball against Boyle. Mercer was able to win most of them and turn them into an attack.
"I worked on it in pactice yesterday," Dodson said. "I was teaching them about pressuring balls up in the air and making sure they get to them before they bounce."
The ones they won generally found themselves worked forward to either Cala Alford, Chrystal Claunch or Chelsea Goodman as each scored once.
Claunch scored Mercer's first goal just over 19 minutes into the game. The sophomore forward battled Boyle sweeper C.C. Leffew, then worked her way around Leffew to the right and put a shot past keeper Tiffany Webb for a 1-0 lead.
Goodman followed just 8:35 later with her goal to put the Scotties up 2-0.
"Chrystal and Chelsea are probably our fastest players on the team," Dodson said. "They have the ability to take that, control the ball and get past most defenders. They just have tremendous speed and we utilize it the best way possible."
Boyle had a chance to cut that in half, but a shot by freshman Sarah Hall in the 30th minute was just high.
Alford's goal, in the 55th minute, put Mercer up 3-0. Alford put a shot toward goal that Webb slid to stop, but she overslid and the ball went off her fingertips and into the goal.
Hall was credited with Boyle's goal in the 61st minute. She ran onto a ball and shot for the Mercer goal. Erin Ashford deflected the shot, but it bounced off Mercer defender Kimmie Byrd and into the goal.
Hall almost had another goal, but her direct kick with just less than four minutes to play went just high and landed on top of the net.
Scotties last beat the Rebels in 1998
It was the first time anyone on the Mercer roster had defeated Boyle, as the only other time the Scotties have beaten the Rebels came in 1998.
Deem said his defenders had their hands full with Mercer, but said that was as much Boyle's fault as it was Mercer's credit.
"Their speed did hurt. They generated some opportunities," Deem said. "But at the same time, when you allow players to trap the ball and turn on you and utilize their speed, then you just put yourself behind the 8-ball. That's what we did quite a bit tonight. I felt like we played 20 minutes of soccer tonight out of 80."
Dodson credited the play of Boyle's Joanna Frauenhoffer, Kelsey Arnett, Marianna Richardson and Leffew in the game. He said those four were difficult for his team to deal with.
"Boyle's good," Dodson said. "They did a real good job keeping their poise. It just happened that we got the luck this time."