Set piece execution leads Dana Hills past University
DANA POINT- The successful execution of set piece opportunities helped put the Dana Hills Dolphins into the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.
Brittany Mueller, Danielle Spriggs, and Emma Gullickson each scored set piece goals in the first half, as the Dolphins blanked the University Trojans 3-0 in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs Friday at Dana Hills High.
“We have been working on them a lot and it finally worked out for us today,” Spriggs said. “CIF is a brand new start and we came in with the mindset that we knew we had to win.”
Dana Hills (14-5-1), which earned the No. 3 overall seed in Division 1, will next face Redlands in the second round on Wednesday. The Terriers defeated Valencia High of Valencia 4-0 in their first round match Friday. A coin flip scheduled for Saturday will determine the location of the second round match since both Dana Hills and Redlands hosted first round matches.
“I loved our execution of the set pieces because we know games, especially in CIF, will be won and lost on them,” Dolphins coach Sheena Jarvis said. “A lot of the girls experienced CIF last year and know how to deal with the pressure. Last year, we weren’t ready, but this year I feel that we are and the girls want it.”
The Dolphins possessed well early in the match and had the first scoring chance of the match in the fifth minute, as senior Lynsey Gaines set up a run into the box by fellow senior Paige La Barre. Her subsequent shot was stopped by Trojans junior goalie Coryna Ogunseitan.
Dana Hills took the lead in the 8th minute. Off a side throw-in from senior Haley Fedden, Mueller headed a shot that Ogunseitan initially appeared to stop. But the ball slipped from her hands and bounced over the goal line.
University (8-8-4) had a scoring chance on the next possession down the field, but senior goalie Erica Young leaped high to slap a ball away from goal that appeared to deflect off a Dolphins defender.
Dana Hills made it a 2-0 lead in the 14th minute. On a corner kick opportunity, LaBarre floated a ball into the middle of the box that was headed over the goal line by Spriggs.
“The set piece worked so well for us and that’s something that we need to keep working on and getting better at,” Spriggs said. “Our biggest thing going forward will be to relax under pressure and moving the ball.”
The Trojans had free kick scoring chances later in the half, but shots by senior Kailee Feinstein in the 15th and 20th minute were saved by Dolphins senior Erica Young.
Dana Hills continued to do a solid job of getting deep into the attacking third, thanks in large part to the efforts of Spriggs, Gaines, and juniors Sydney Chiodini and Cailey Laidlaw, and senior Brittany Valentine.
“I know my mindset is to come off the bench, work hard, be aggressive, and contribute,” Valentine said.
The Dolphins tacked on another goal in the 31st minute. After a Valentine shot was knocked out of bounds, Laidlaw’s ensuing free kick sailed was headed by Gullickson to the right of Oguseitan and into the back of the net.
“We worked on that play yesterday where we all make a mad dash for the goal and it was just trying to get where the ball was,” Gullickson said.
Behind defenders Reema Bzeih, Diana Eldefrawy, and Amanda Everitz, the Trojans defense stiffened in the second half and managed to help their offense work the ball into the attacking third. University’s best scoring chance came in the 57th minute. Sophomore Jessica Wong managed to get off a shot that rolled toward the far post, but was saved just before the ball crossed the goal line on a fully extended dive to the right by sophomore goalie Meghan Dickmann.
Led by Gullickson and senior Lauren Hart, the Dolphins defense helped close out the win.
“Their chances came on set pieces and we didn’t mark up tight enough in the box,” Trojans coach Dominic Fratantaro said. “I was proud of my girls and thought they fought hard.”