Sept. 20th, 2020 | Princeton, MA
It's a pleasant, sunny Sunday afternoon for a home game, with a great week of preparation leading up to this match. Last week, the Gunners lost a close one from a counter. This week, they take that lesson into consideration, and are ready to perform!
NE Navigators being a new team, had no history playing against the Lady Gunners. From the start, Gunners controlled possession, were always in the opponent's final third, pouncing to establish dominance. Lady Gunners scored an early goal, added another to take a 2-0 lead at the half.
Half - Time Adjustments
Although the Gunners were up 2-0, most coaches will express how dangerous this lead can be for a team. It has a tendency to give players a false sense of security, right into the trap of complacency.
The priority adjustment was to lockdown the NE Navigators center midfield. She was the player maker the Navigators offense ran through. Several times, she put her wingers in great advanced positions, creating glorious scoring opportunities, which fortunately for the Gunners, were not converted.
Second Half - Execution
The Lady Gunners responded well to the adjustment. Every Lady Gunner who played in center midfield worked tirelessly to shut down the dangerous midfielder. This caused paralysis in the Navigator's offense.
As the half went on, it was clear the Navigators had lost any momentum built in the first half to generate a comeback. This fueled the Lady Gunners' confidence to impose their will on the match, which they did convincingly.
It was a 5-0 victory for the Lady Gunners who found their scoring form, by way of shots, crosses, and quick combination play out of the midfield. A well-balanced team performance, with every player making a significant contribution.
Dominant performances such as this one, always involve several players. In this case, it was a team effort overall. The consistency of every player was remarkable, however, there were two outstanding performers who set the tone:
Gabby sparked energy into her side early, with tremendous wing play from the right side. Her ability to take players on at speed, while generating crosses, really helped her team launch their dominance.
Ryan: was the recipient of crosses from the wing. Ryan scored from two well-struck shots in the first half and finished the game with a hat trick. After working hard on finishing around the box, it was great to see her enjoy the success!
Congrats to you both on a well-deserved Players of the Match Award!!