The Saline varsity girls soccer team opened the season with a 1-0 loss to Hartland at Saline High School Thursday evening.
Hartland scored with 4:10 to play in the second half. The goal came after considerable Hartland pressure and a corner kick. The winning shot was a high bouncer that barely eluded freshman keeper Brenna Crawford, who played admirably filling in for goalie Annika Udrys.
Saline head coach Dana Rosselot was satisfied with the team’s play.
“In the first game of the season, we haven’t yet learned the system and gotten in sync. But what you want to see is a lot of fight. We had a lot of fight tonight,” Rosselot said.
The first half was fairly even, territorially. Saline’s best opportunity came on a give-and-go between junior Devin Reilly and sophomore Erin Reilly. Erin passed ahead to Devin and then sprinted forward up the right side side, where Devin gave it back to her. Erin then fired a cross back through the crease. The cross skidded past the goalie but just missed Devin, too, and it slipped harmlessly out of bounds.
The Hornets came out attacking in the second half and definitely had the best chances.
13 minutes into the half, Reilly ripped a shot off the crossbar. Lauren Rubin got to the rebound and kicked it past the goalie to give Saline the 1-0 lead. But the officials waived off the goalie, saying the play was offside. Rosselot wasn’t sure if it was the right call, but says the Hornets seemed to lose momentum.
“It took the wind out of our sails. We weren’t as aggressive after that play,” Rosselot said.
Saline did have a few more good chances. With 23 minutes to play, Devin Reilly fired a hard shot just wide. Hannah Jarvie streaked in from the left side and forced the goalie to make a diving save with 15 minutes to play.
But Hartland seemed to take over with about 10 minutes to play. They had two corners before scoring the game-winning goal with 4:10 to play.
With 3:15 to play, Alyssa Williams generated a good scoring chance, running up the right wing and firing a hard cross that was scooped up by Hartland’s goalie.
Saline returns to action April 4 at Canton High School.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Erin Reilly – The sophomore generated some of Saline’s best offensive opportunities with speed and grit. She also showed a serious shot on the long shot off the cross bar.
- Brenna Crawford – The freshman goalie made a couple of saves as Hartland poured it on during a tough stretch late in the second half.
- Sarah Brannan – The senior played strong defense throughout the night.