Lisbon’s Giana Russo fires a shot past Mt. Abram’s Baylie McLaughlin, right, Thursday afternoon at Lisbon. Russo scored two goals and the Greyhounds won, 3-0.
LISBON — After mustering only a pair of goals in losing to Oak Hill and Spruce Mountain to open the season, the Lisbon girls’ soccer team decided to mix things up in the young season.
After making changes to best suit their strengths, the Greyhounds found the back of the net three times, earning their first win of the season by blanking Mt. Abram, 3-0 in Mountain Valley Conference action Thursday.
“I made some adjustments, we moved some people around because we were finding that our middies were playing back on defense and it made our midfield so wide open,” Lisbon coach Jen Perron said. “Some of the girls had played defense before so they naturally wanted to stay back. We made those adjustments today and I think it worked out all right.”
Those changes paid dividends early on for the Greyhounds, who fired four shots on goal within the first seven minutes at Mt. Abram goalie Kiley Holt. At the 30:26 mark, Lisbon’s Kiley Merritt charged the net with the ball before slipping it to Giana Russo for a goal.
“The ball was bobbling around on the 6-yard line after Kiley had it, and I was lucky to get a foot on it,” Russo, who finished with two goals, said.
Lisbon continued to control the ball at midfield, taking advantage of the Roadrunners’ inability to clear the ball cleanly.
“We struggled today clearing the ball at our feet. These are issues we’ve had so far this season and we know we need to work on some things,” Mt. Abram coach Andrew Delcourt said.
The Greyhounds came close to scoring their second goal of the half with just under 12 minutes remaining when Sydney Douglass’ throw-in bounced in front of the net and Emma Houle’s header went wide of the net. Less than a minute later, Soule attempted another header but was denied when Holt batted the ball away for the save.
Despite outshooting Mt. Abram 15-4 in the first half, the Greyhounds took only a 1-0 lead into halftime.
“I told the girls to relax and play our game. Unlike our last game when we didn’t move around, our positioning at midfield was a lot better,” Perron said. “We didn’t allow them to dictate how we play the game.”
Mt. Abram came out in the second half a little more aggressive than it had been in the first, but that didn’t help generate any offense during the opening minutes. The Roadrunners’ defense did manage to continue to keep Lisbon from scoring despite five shots from the home team in the first 10 minutes.
At 23:45, a Lisbon corner kick landed the ball in front of Holt. The junior could not handle the ball cleanly and Russo punched the ball into the open net for her second goal of the game.
“I saw the ball come off the goalie’s hands and I went after it,” Russo said.
“She a phenomenal athlete. She’s so calm, she doesn’t panic when she gets the ball. She takes a lot of chances and her and Kiley together are my dynamic duo,” Perron said.
Mt. Abram (0-2) continued its hustle but began to wear down as the game transpired.
“We’re such a young team, I had at least five freshmen on the field at any given time,” Delcourt said. “They’re still adjusting to the big stage.”
Lisbon’s defense kept the Roadrunners from mounting any sort of momentum in the second half.
“Our defense was big, we made our switch with our middies and defense, and I think that not only helped our offense but helped our ‘D’ too,” Russo added.
Mt. Abram’s Alice Cockerham’s hustle after loose balls using her speed helped set up a pair of shots against Lisbon goalie Anna Willey.
“I do think our shape was a lot better today and we’re improving on it,” Delcourt said.
Merritt tried for an insurance goal at the 3:42 mark, taking a penalty shot after a Mt. Abram handball, but the sophomore’s shot rung off the right post.
Less than two minutes later, Carly Drischler punched a corner kick into the front and Merritt was able to possess it and fire it into the back of the net for the game’s final goal.
Willey made three saves in net for the shutout. Holt turned away 17 shots in the loss.
“We played our game today by controlling the ball,” Perron said.
Mt. Abram’s Baylie McLaughlin, left, tries to take the ball away from Lisbon’s Kylie Merritt, right, in girls’ soccer action on Thursday. Lisbon won, 3-0Lisbon’s Sydney Douglass flips in a throw towards the net in Thursday’s girls’ soccer game against Mt. Abram. The Greyhounds won, 3-0Lisbon’s Sydney Douglass flips in a throw towards the net in Thursday’s girls’ soccer game against Mt. Abram. The Greyhounds won, 3-0Mt. Abram’s Alice Cockerham and Lisbon’s Emma DiGregorio both battle for a loose ball in girls’ soccer action Thursday. Lisbon defeated the Roadrunners, 3-0.