Lady Griffins' season ends with second-round loss
Dutchtown's defense had been one of their major strengths during the season. In the Lady Griffins' last seven victories, they had given up a grand total of one goal.
But in Dutchtown's second-round playoff matchup against St. Scholastica on Wednesday night, the Lady Griffins had two costly defensive breakdowns. Those two miscues led to the Doves scoring two second-half goals that punched their ticket to the state quarterfinals.
"We had trouble defending the long balls. It was a very difficult situation," Ducthtown head coach Anant Vyas said. "The clearances have to be quick, but two mistakes were made, and that's how the goals were scored. But otherwise, I thought that our team, if not better, was just as good. All in all, I like the way we performed today. We started gelling as a team."
Right from the start, St. Scholastica attacked the Lady Griffin defense. They spent much of the first half near the Dutchtown goal.
Conversely, the Lady Griffins didn't get off their first shot on goal until minute 26. A shot by Riley Hicock was saved.
But at the 32nd minute, Tristen Gulczynski was able to get past St. Scholastica defenders, and she made a hard charge toward the goal. The Dove keeper came forward and attempted a sliding save, but in doing so, she took out the legs of Gulczynski, prompting a foul call.
Gulczynski was awarded a penalty kick, which she made to give Dutchtown a 1-0 lead.
To end the half, St. Scholastica made an assault on the Lady Griffin net, but goalkeeper Alexi Odland made three terrific saves in the final four minutes, allowing Dutchtown to hold on to a 1-0 halftime lead--despite being outshot 9-2 in the first 40 minutes.
The Doves continued to attack in the second half. They got off four more shots in the first nine minutes. One went through to tie the game.
At the 62nd minute, a Griffin defender took a gamble and went for a steal, but she missed. This gave a charging Dove a free lane to the goal, and she scored to give St. Scholastica a 2-1 advantage.
But just four minutes later, Dutchtown went on the offensive. A shot by Gulczynski was saved, but Carrigan Hookfin eventually scored off of a deflection to tie the game.
But three minutes later, the Lady Griffin defense made another crucial mistake. Again, a Dutchtown defender went for the ball and missed, giving a St. Scholastica player a free path to the goal, and she made the kick to put the Doves back on top, 3-2.
Dutchtown was not able to respond in the final 11 minutes. The loss ended the Lady Griffins' season, and it ended the careers of their two seniors, Odland and Elizabeth Kennison.
"It's unfortunate that we lost, but I think we played until the end," Kennison said. "We had a lot of opportunities. We played as a team. It just sucks that it ended like that. I wish we could have gone forward, but it was a good game to end on. We played together, and we played hard."
The Lady Griffins were outshot, 20-7. Odland went down with a leg injury midway through the second half, but before her departure, she had seven saves.
Although the season has come to a close, Coach Vyas is excited about the team's future. The Lady Griffins will only lose two starters.
"I think the future will be excellent," Vyas said. "I think everyone on the team is happy with one another. They're playing together. There is no negative competition. We got good bench play this year, and that helped us out a lot. I look forward to the next season."