Correction: Zoe Simmons scored the goal in Firelands' 1-0 girls soccer win over Vermilion. Due to a reporter's error, the wrong girl was credited with the goal.
SOUTH AMHERST — Though both teams appeared to be a half-step off all night, Firelands Zoe Simmons caught up with the ball when it counted Thursday.
Simmons right-footed a Valerie Riccardi cross past Vermilion goalie Isabelle McCale and into the back of the net for the only goal of the game in the Falcons’ 1-0 win over the Sailors at South Amherst Soccer Stadium.
The goal came at the 22:21 mark of the second half. Riccardi made a long run up the left sideline, used a nifty move to get past Vermilion defender Taylor Trbovich and found a streaking Simmons unmarked in front, less than 10 feet from the front of the goal.
The Sailors defense seemed out of sorts at times, something that puzzled Vermilion coach Phil Pempin.
“I don’t know what it was,” he said. “We had a great game Monday, probably one of the best games we’ve had since I’ve been here, but we just couldn’t pull it together today. Firelands played well. They’ve had our number for the last couple of years. Hopefully later this year it will be a different outcome.”
The Sailors had one solid chance to tie the game late in the second half. With 15 seconds remaining in the game, Vermilion (1-1) was awarded a free kick just outside the Firelands goal box.
But Kayleigh Penton’s free kick missed the mark as the final horn sounded.
The Falcons defense, led by senior Alexander Hertensteiner and junior Stephanie Wells, kept control of the area in front of Firelands goalie Alex Willis for most of the game.
“Those two play really well together there in the center,” Firenalds coach Morgan Ziegler said after her team improved to 3-0. “Steph is very quick and she’s able to run through anything that gets missed. We have great communication from Alex, our goalie, in the back which helps them all stay organized back there. I’m very pleased with the effort they gave tonight.”
Wells said communication was the key.
“Brandi and I communicate really well in the back and that helps keep things organized,” she said. “Our goalie also helps, telling us about people behind us we might not see and where to go with the ball.”
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Firelands 1, Vermilion 0
GOALS: (F) Zoe Simmons
ASSISTS: (F) Valerie Riccardo
Shots on goal: Firelands 7, Vermilion 5
Fouls: Firelands 16, Vermilion 7
HALFTIME SCORE: 0-0