The Lady Bears recorded their first win of the season, scoring 4 goals against the Duluth Wildcats at Cambridge on Wednesday night, Feb. 14th. Although it was Valentine's day, the Bears defense was in no mood to show any love as they also kept their first clean sheet of the season!
The Bears made a bright start with much of the play in the opening 10 minutes exclusively in the Wildcats half. A good run down the right wing in the 7th minute from Mariah Naegle (34), setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Erica Quinn (37) relentlessly pressured the Wildcats defense in the 17th minute into making a mistake, which almost resulted in the opening goal as Sarah Fazzari (21), shot at goal, but the goalkeeper somehow keeping the ball out of the net. Then in the 19th minute, Erica Quinn (37) almost scored from distance as the Wildcats goalkeeper scrambled to get back.
The Bears continued to press and probe and in the 23rd minute Elle Cheevers (27) showed some nice dribbling skills to get away from the Wildcats defense, but her shot went just wide.
As we approached the last 10 minutes of the half, a penetrating run down the right wing from Erica Quinn (37) won a throw in close to the Wildcats penalty area. Safiya Said's (24) shot at goal from the throw in, going just wide of goal.
The Bears deservedly got the opening goal in the 30th minute as birthday girl Elle Cheevers (27) lashed the ball into the Wildcats goal. 1-0 Bears!
The Bears were now on the front foot as Lilah Cunningham (23) attempted to double the lead a minute later with a shot that drifted just wide. In the last minute of the half, Karina Naik (30) showed great determination to keep the ball from going out for a goal kick, pulling the ball back from the goal line and poking it through to Erica Quinn (37) who almost got a shot away. Half time 1-0 Bears.
The second half started much the way the first one ended, the Bears on top and piling on the pressure. Sarah Fazzari (21) shooting off target from a through ball played by Safiya Said (24) in the 38th minute. A minute later Safiya Said (24) had a goal bound effort saved by the very busy Wildcats goalkeeper.
A rare attack by the Wildcats, saw them break on the right wing in the 43rd minute, a good cross into the Bears 18-yard box, but no Wildcat forward could get on the end of it.
The Bears second goal arrived in the 46th minute when Mariah Naegle (34) slotted the ball confidently into the back of the net. 2-0 Bears. A minute later, the Bears won a corner and from the resulting play, Abby Fields (22) smashed the ball on target, 3-0 Bears.
The best move of the game came in the 53rd minute when Safiya Said (24) went on a mazy run in midfield beating 4 players and distributing a perfect pass to Abby Fields (22), Abby's almost precise shot had the goalkeeper beaten but not the left-hand post. As the ball rebounded, Sarah Fazzari (21) was on hand to bury the ball and put the Bears 4-0 up.
The Bears were hunting for more goals, but the Wildcats stood firm as the game reached the closing stages. A final shot in the last minute from Safiya Said (24) was well saved by the goal keeper.
The final score 4-0, a well-deserved and first win for the Bears.
Next, it's Pope away on Monday, February 19th at 7:30.