The Lady Bears JV Soccer team kicked off the 2018 season with a narrow 1-0 loss against the Milton Eagles on a bitterly cold evening at Cambridge.
The opening 5 minutes were largely uneventful as both teams struggled to create any meaningful plays. Then in the 6th minute Lilah Cunningham (23) displayed some good dribbling skills in midfield but couldn't trouble the Eagles defense. A minute later Erica Quinn (37) played a long ball into the penalty area but unfortunately no Bears player could get on the end of it.
A scrappy period of play followed until the 10th minute when Elle Cheevers (27) fired off a couple of shots at goal, the second one forcing the Eagles goalkeeper into a routine save.
The Eagles won a free kick about 25 yards out in the 12th minute with the resulting attempt at goal sailing harmlessly over the top. Another good move from the Eagles a few minutes later required a good interception from Lilah Cunningham (23) to stop the ball getting to their striker. The Bears defense was resolute with Nia Worrell (31) at the heart of the backline making timely tackles and interceptions.
The Bears won their first corner in the 19th minute after some incisive play from Erica Quinn (37) on the right wing. Elle Cheevers (27) shooting wide right from the resulting corner kick taken by Abby Fields (22). The Eagles immediately went down the field and crossed a dangerous looking ball from the left that required a smart save from Ashley Spina (41) in the Bears goal. A few minutes later Nia Worrell (31) went on a penetrating run from the Bears defense all the way to the Eagles penalty area, exchanging a couple of passes in midfield but the shot at the end of the move didn't really trouble the Eagles goalkeeper.
The Eagles won their first corner of the game in the 25th minute and put the Bears under sustained pressure for the next 10 minutes. The Bears defense working very hard to keep the ball out with Ashley Spina (41) needing to sprint out quickly a couple of times to prevent the Eagles front line from having a clear shot at goal. The first half ending goalless.
The second half started with the Eagles again putting the Bears under pressure. A very good save was needed from Ashley Spina (41) in the 38th minute as a dangerous shot arrived through a crowd of players. A couple of minutes later Lilah Cunningham (23) had to defend strongly as she ran shoulder to shoulder with the Eagles striker preventing her from getting a shot at goal.
Another period of scrappy play by both teams followed until the 51st minute when Erica Quinn (37) carried the ball forward purposefully from midfield and played a through ball to Abby Fields (22) who was crowded out by the Eagles defense.
The breakthrough finally came in the 54th minute, but unfortunately it was for the Eagles. The ball rebounding kindly for the Eagles from a great save by Ashley Spina (41). 1-0 to the Eagles.
The Bears searched for an equalizer quickly and forced the Eagles goalkeeper into a fine low save from Abby Fields (22) in the 56th minute. The Eagles followed up with a dangerous move of their own, striking the post with a shot and then requiring Ashley Spina (41) to make a save from the rebound. The Eagles were now playing with renewed confidence and the Bears were finding it difficult to break them down. In the 66th minute the Eagles almost scored again as a shot grazed the outside of the post.
The Bears forced a couple of corners near the end of the game, but it was not to be, as the game ended 1-0 in favor of the Milton Eagles.
Next Lady Bears game is at home again on Wednesday, February 7th against the Blessed Trinity Lady Titans.