Get into high gear: Marquette girls soccer team downs Houghton with decisive 6-0 win

Marquette forward Alyson McCarthy, center right, leaps while trying to knock the ball past the Houghton goalkeeper and into the Gremlins’ goal during their high school girls soccer game held at the Marquette Senior High School football field on Wednesday. Teammate Ellarie Thierry watches the play at right. (Journal photo by Caden Sierra)

MARQUETTE — Marquette turned up its offense at least one notch in a 6-0 high school girls soccer victory against Houghton at the school’s football field on Wednesday.

The Sentinels had quite a few more goals and scoring opportunities compared to a 3-1 loss to Gaylord in its season opener just a few days earlier.

MSHS was flying right out of the gate with multiple shots on net, putting early pressure on the Gremlins.

As pressure continued to build, Lily Eberhard would strike first for Marquette with about 33 minutes left in the opening half for a quick 1-0 lead.

Marquette continued to dominate possession, leaving Houghton struggling to get the ball out of its own end. With just over 16 minutes left before intermission, the Sentinels’ Morgan Amann hammered a shot past the Houghton goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

Marquette’s Ellarie Thierry rushes for the ball to move it out of the Sentinels’ defensive zone during a high school girls soccer game played against Houghton and held at the Marquette Senior High School football field on Wednesday. (Journal photo by Caden Sierra)

Just seconds before the first half ended, Houghton defender Isabella Brunswick was awarded a penalty kick, a great opportunity to get the visitors back into the match. But Marquette freshman goalkeeper Maddy Croney made a crucial stop to preserve the shutout at the break.

MSHS continued with its elevated energy levels to begin the second half, dominating possession in the Houghton end, and with just over 34 minutes left, Alyson McCarthy knocked in the ball right in front of the goal to make it 3-0.

Though their offense had been steady throughout, it was in the final 15 minutes that the floodgates really opened for the Sentinels with another three goals. Two were punched in by Anabel Ollila with the other by freshman Olivia Stade.

Despite their dominance, MSHS head coach Laura Wayland sees room for improvement.

“We need to make sure that we’re taking advantage of the opportunities that we have in front of the net, because those don’t always come as frequently as they did today,” she said right after the game. “We also want to make sure that we are recognizing (that we need to) get better from each game that we play, making sure that passes are connecting and recognizing when we have (the) time (and) space when to go wide, too.”

Sentinels assistant coach Colleen McKay echoed Wayland.

“We were excited about today’s game,” she said. “A lot of fans came out today.

“We always have things that we want to improve on after every game and we chat with them afterwards. We’re looking forward to practice tomorrow but we’re happy we put away six goals.”

Marquette doesn’t get a lot of rest with a pair of games downstate this weekend, traveling to Harbor Springs for a game at 5 p.m. today and then at Traverse City West at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Going into any game, we’re always just focused on what we’re going to be able to do and what we’re controlling,” Wayland said. “So regardless of who our opponent is, we’re always just trying to focus on what we can control, our energy, our effort and then putting away our opportunities, too.”

Caden Sierra can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 551. His email address is csierra@nmu.edu.


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