Saline crushed Brighton 7-0 to open the 2016 season.
It was a dominating performance by team that could have easily run up the score if coach Erica Reilly had not reined in the Hornets after they scored four goals in the game’s first 6:12.
By winning the Division 2 State Championship last year, Saline moved up to Division 1. Coach Reilly wanted her team to come out strong after the Hornets struggled in the early stages of a scrimmage against Division 1 Skyline Saturday.
“We’re playing tougher teams in Division 1. The game is a lot faster. So I wanted our team to come out strong,” Reilly said. “I really liked the way we came out and attacked. Once we got up a little bit we decided to work on some things.”
The Reilly sisters – Shannon, Devin and Erin – figured in on five of Saline’s seven goals. Erin, a freshman, scored two goals and assisted on another. Devin Reilly opened the scoring 2:25 into the game when she cracked a 14-year shot past the Bright keeper.
Less than a minute later, Erin Reilly scored her first varsity goal. The Hornets showed great patience and the ability to pass in tight quarters. The ball came out to junior Devin Reilly in front of the goal. She attracted everyone attention when she wound up for the shot, but she instead passed to Reilly who was uncontested as she scored from 11 yards out.
Just 5:11 into the game, Saline made it 3-0. Senior Abby Morton played the penalty corner to senior Shannon Reilly, who fired a shot on goal. The rebound bounced to Morton, who scored from the side of the goal.
Freshman Bridget Skelly scored with 6:20 to play in the half. Grace Livesey sprinted up the wing and played the ball to the middle to Skelly, who scored from just inside the 10-yard line.
Senior Sierra Hazard scored from the side of the goal after taking a cross-crease pass from sophomore Hannah Jarvie.
Saline’s sixth goal of the half was another Morton-Reilly joint venture. On a penalty corner, Morton played it to Shannon Reilly, who cracked a hard shot into the goal with 2:59 left in the half.
Saline spent most of the second half trying to play keepaway. The Hornets often played balls back to their defense and worked on breakouts and cuts.
Goalie Keerthana Akella faced pressure but no shots on goal.
In the game’s final five minutes Saline turned up the heat again. The Hornets had several girls at the net battling for a loose ball when the rebound bounced to Erin Reilly at the side of the net. She fired a wicked backhand chop through the crowd and into the goal to make it 7-0.
Saline visits Huron Wednesday and returns home for a game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
SISU Mouthguard 3 Stars
- Shannon Reilly – Dominant in most every facet of the game. Faster, stronger and more skilled that her opponents. Her shot seems harder than ever.
- Abby Morton – Saline senior scored once, had another assist. Used her speed and reach to disrupt the Bulldog attack.
- Erin Reilly scored twice in her varsity debut.