By Owen Yancher,
Blue Devil head coach Jen Morris tried something new Tuesday night against Oak Ridge; she had her team spread out and methodically pick apart the Trojan defense.
And it worked–Davis (5-3,1-0) defeated Oak Ridge (6-4, 1-0) 10-6 on March 29.
In contrast to the Devils’ usual aggressive, fast-paced offensive style, Davis played at a much slower tempo against Oak Ridge. And although the game was rather anti-climatic, it resulted in a win.
“This game we knew we weren’t going to be winning the draw, so we had to be smart with our possessions,” Morris said.
“I felt like this game we played smarter, rather than harder and it made a difference to where we could relax a little. We felt the pressure coming but we were calm with the ball, versus just panicking and trying to get rid of it and that really made a big difference in the outcome of the game.”
Junior Nicole Pugh directed the Davis offense, and found the Oak Ridge netting six times. In addition, freshman Alex Agnew supplied a hat trick of her own, assisting Pugh on two of her goals. Senior Julia Zabala also scored early in the game.
“[Pugh] has been playing so well all year,” Morris said. “And when you’re shooting well, you keep shooting. And that’s not something I’m going to take away from someone.”
The Blue Devils have been leaning on the shafts of Pugh and Agnew to supply on the offensive end while leading scorer Camille Renaud has been sidelined with a hip injury.
The junior was back in the lineup during Tuesday’s victory. And while Morris was cautious and used Renaud sparingly, she added a spark to the game during her limited minutes.
“We’re working her back in slowly,” Morris said. “She’s a huge scoring threat and just having her out there is another person that opponents have to worry about.”
Renaud will return for the Blue Devils in a different role than she’s accustomed to. To avoid a rushed return, Morris will slowly ease her back to full-strength as an attacker rather than midfielder to avoid re-aggravating Renaud’s stress fracture.
This was Davis’ second win in a row after the Devils ransacked Rancho Cotate (2-2,1-0), 14-3, on Friday, March 18 in Rohnert Park. Davis hopes to keep the momentum going into an away contest Thursday, March 31 against Granite Bay.
“[Granite Bay] has won our league the past two years, so we really want to get that win,” Morris said. “Oak Ridge beat Granite Bay 10-9 last week so our win tonight gives us a little confidence going in, but they’re definitely a strong team and we’re going to have to be on our toes.”