PHOTO: Senior Lily Byrne sprints up the field, attacking the Franklin defense and setting up a scoring opportunity for Davis.
By Paige Ochoa,
On Jan. 28, the Davis High women’s soccer team escaped a close matchup against Franklin High at Playfields Park, pushing through a goal late in the second half to win 1-0, and extending their overall record to 8-0-3.
The first half was all Davis.
The non-stop pressure by DHS forced the Wildcat defense to continue to make plays, and although they held strong, the momentum remained with the Devils.
Well-placed passes and quick jukes between defenders by freshman Mia Williams, juniors Franchesca Bolivar and Megan Looney, and senior Sydney Moore pressed the Franklin defense, but a goal could not pass the goaline.
Although the DHS offense held control of the ball for a majority of the half, the Lady Blue Devil defense, led by senior Grace Carlson and junior Lyah Fitzpatrick, pushed the ball back to the forwards and out of the hands of goalie, sophomore Harper Burnham.
It seemed like the tie could be broken multiple times throughout with fast-breaks by senior Lily Byrne, however, being triple-teamed all day, the stand-out was quickly swallowed up by Wildcat defenders seemingly each attack.
“We could have executed some of our passes more often and capitalized on the opportunities we had,” Byrne said. “We didn’t play as well as we could have in the first half, but responded well to what we needed to change and had a lot more desire in the second half.”
At halftime, the score remained as it had begun– 0-0.
Similarly, as the second half kicked off, the momentum remained with the home team. The pressure continued to be put on the Wildcat defense was unmatched.
About halfway through the 40-minute half, a foul was called on Franklin, setting up a penalty shot for Davis right outside the top of the penalty box, however, the shot from junior Summer Baron was grabbed by the Wildcat goalkeeper.
On the following drive, the Devils had two more chances to break the tie with back-to-back corner kicks, but could not finish, as Byrne’s header off the corner was barely snatched by the goalkeeper before reaching the net.
However, fresh footwork from midfielder Moore and freshman forward Olivia Johnson kept the possession on the Franklin side of the field, and with a cross to the back post by Bolivar, a quick tip in by Baron propelled the Lady Blue Devils into the lead.
“I’m really happy we got the go ahead goal goal because we were definitely the better team and the whole team worked very hard,” Byrne said. “There was so much questioning about how young this team was going to do this season […] I think the team has proved that DHS women’s soccer is still a powerhouse.”
After taking the lead 1-0, Davis played keep away for the remaining minutes of the game and had a few more scoring chances by senior Annabelle Lossin, Byrne and Williams, but the referee blew the whistle before any more goals were accounted for.
When asked what her goals are for the rest of the season, Byrne responded with a huge smile “we definitely want to win league, become section section champs for the fifth year in a row and make it to regionals.”
DHS women’s soccer takes the field next on the road against Pleasant Grove on Feb. 5.