Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ATH: Tivy Tuesday Soccer

Tivy 'rains' over Fredericksburg
By Aaron Anderson, The Daily Times, Published January 16, 2008

The weather over Antler Stadium Tuesday night was enough to conjure escapist visions of warm sands and Sinatra singing: “Summertime, and the livin’s easy…”

However, the members of Tivy’s girls soccer team were not likely thinking of lads in Panama hats and low-lit lounges. Perhaps that is because of their generational distance from the Rat Pack, but more likely because the Antlers were focused on beating district foe and uber-rival, Fredericksburg, 3-0.

The match marked the District 27-4A opener for both teams, and the home opener for Tivy. A short, but hard blast of rain began to fall in the ninth minute, and was enough to soak the players and fans.

The cold and damp conditions did little to deter the Antlers, though, as Tivy dominated possession and put constant pressure on the Billies’ defense for the entire game. Time spent on Fredericksburg’s half of the field translated into 12 corner kicks earned and a barrage of shots from within the 18-foot box.

Tivy coach Shannon Sletten attributed the constant offensive to her center midfield, as they sent the ball “back down (Fredericksburg’s) throat.”

Tivy did not break through until the 28th minute, but afterward the Billie defense gave in to the attacks like Frank to the good life, as they conceded two more goals before the 33rd minute.

The first goal belonged to senior forward Amanda Brock, who took a beautiful precision through-pass from midfield by senior Lindsey Avery and took a shot that glanced off the Fredericksburg keeper and into the back of the net. The score gave Brock her 56th career goal, placing her second on the Tivy all-time career goals list.

Brock added her second of the night and 57th career goal just three minutes later by taking a crisp pass from freshman Dani Walker and jetting into the box for an easy shot low. Brock’s speed and ball handling proved troublesome for the Billies all night.

Sletten heaped praise on her star forward, saying Brock “clearly (outplayed)” the Fredericksburg defense and had “a strong will to score ... definitely a superior player out there.”

Tivy’s third goal came less than a minute after the second on a searching low cross from Hailey Olden that eventually found Avery, who slipped the ball past the keeper. The goal was Tivy’s last for the first half and proved to be all the Antlers needed. The second half saw more offensive pressure from Tivy, but the Antlers were unable to get more goals.

Though mostly untroubled during the game, Tivy’s fullback line faced a couple of serious threats from Fredericksburg’s transition offense. The defense, captained by senior Rachael Ashley, was able to hold firm when it needed to.

After the game, the ladies and their coach were pleased to have a victory. However, the weather proved that the season is far from summertime and the team’s remaining schedule shows that the Antlers are far from easy livin’. Of their remaining 17 games, 15 will be hotly contested district bouts.

The difficult road continues in Boerne this Friday night.

“Boerne’s going to be tough. ... They are going to be very hard to beat,” Sletten said. “Hopefully we’ll have a little sense of urgency to put the ball away early.”

With that sense of urgency, a relentless offense, and a little luck, the Antlers could find themselves at the top of District 27-4A, entertaining thoughts of a long playoff run.

Warm and inviting as a trip to Palm Springs.

Antlers can't catch a break
From staff reports, The Daily Times, Published January 16, 2008

FREDERICKSBURG — With a young team, what David Swonke needs is a break now and then. What the Tivy boys soccer coach did not need Tuesday was a break going against him.

But, a 1-1 match broke open after Fredericksburg scored on a penalty kick late in the second half, and the Billies rode that momentum to a 3-1 win.

With the loss, Tivy falls to 0-4 on the season and 0-1 in District 27-4A.

David Long scored on a breakaway in the first half to tie the match for the Antlers.

But, after the PK, Tivy struggled.

“That was the game, right there,” Swonke said. “We sort of deflated after that. We had worked and worked to get back into the match, and that goal allowed Fredericksburg to apply steady pressure the rest of the way.”

Tivy hosts Boerne on Friday.

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