2014 SEASON: NEWS ARCHIVE: LADY COMETS SURVIVE INEFFICIENT FIRST HALF TO BEAT HONESDALE 3-1

Thursday, September 19
LADY COMETS SURVIVE INEFFICIENT FIRST HALF TO BEAT HONESDALE 3-1
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Izzy Clauss opened the scoring in today's game against Honesdale

In the game of soccer, scoring 3 goals in a single match is good productivity, although this might be questioned when it takes a team 37 shots to do it! Struggling mightily to hit even the broadest side of the largest barn, the Lady Comets finally prevailed 3-1 in today's contest with visiting Honesdale; but they started the day rather unimpressively in the "shooting accuracy" department. In the first half, Abington controlled possession and field position, and manufactured an eye-popping 23 shots. However, the Lady Comets did not get much "bang for their buck" out of their repeated first-half sojourns into Honesdale territory. Not one of the 23 shots ended up in the back of the net, and, in fact, not many of these shots even troubled the keeper.

Sometimes when a team's goal output does not meet up with what one would expect given a team's shot output, it simply means that the team was "robbed" by a goalkeeper having a "career day" in the net. Sometimes keepers do make as many as 20 or 25 saves in a game. However, in today's first half, Abington managed to place just 6 of its 23 shots on frame. And although two shots bounced off the woodwork, there was nothing on the halftime scoreboard.

For whatever reason, and this writer was not privy to the halftime huddle, the Lady Comets played much better in the second half of this game. And this was reflected in the stats, which showed fewer shots taken but a much higher rate of efficiency. In the second half, the Lady Comets took 14 shots, placed 7 on frame, and put 3 in the goal. This is very good percentage shooting in soccer. So the team must be congratulated for finishing strong after starting slow.

Isabelle Clauss scored the first goal of the game early in the second half, and this seemed to mark a turning point. Shortly, thereafter, Perrine Wasser would score, following a nifty little dribble drive into the Honesdale box. Later, with just over thirteen minutes left in the game, a determined Michaelina Holmes drove a spectacular cross to the far post where Tiana Yarns stepped up and angled the ball home with an against-the-grain shot into the side netting. 

There wasn't much sting in the Hornets' attack, and the only Honesdale score came with just three minutes left in the game. The shot was nothing spectacular and was something Blair Cacciamani usually handles. Actually, it was kind of an unfortunate moment that we will not highlight here. The bottom line is that the goal was meaningless. Cacciamani, by the way, is still maintaining an extraordinary save percentage of .909, even though she did not have much work to do in this game.

Finally, if one wished to offer an analysis of the first half, one could suggest that there are many reasons why a team shoots an especially low percentage. A couple of these reasons were maybe evident today.  (1) Too Anxious - there is such a thing as taking too many shots; do not forget, for example, that in today's second half, Abington registered far fewer shots but was much more efficient. Sure, it is good to fire the ball when you have a decent shot, but sometimes its is better to patiently "work" the ball into a position that creates a much better shot, especially when playing against a suspect defense.  (2) Technique- the execution level was not there in the first half; un-pressured shots were miss-hit, sometimes spinning off the side of the foot--these balls bent wide; other shots were undercut and popped up. The Lady Comets have some good technical players, but many times the flaws in execution we witnessed today seemed to be happening either because the team was rushing or was not concentrating. It seems sometimes that this Lady Comet team needs to simply relax, to work on keeping its poise in the final third, and work on lifting their heads up more often to look for the extra pass.

The team now hits the road on Saturday for a game at North Pocono (3-6). For those of you who want to watch Penn State play that other kind of "football," tape the Nittany Lions and join us down in Moscow. The Lady Comet contest is scheduled to kickoff at 12:30. By the way, as things look right now, fans should bring plenty of rain gear.