SMWC Pomeroys take on Hanover Panthers
September 8th, 2011 | By Michael Aycock
The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Pomeroys started their season on the road against a Hanover team that has already knocked off two perennial DIII national powers, DePauw and Ohio Wesleyan. While they showed great skill and huge heart, taking it to the Panthers early, they could not hold off the onslaught of excellent play and deep bench that Hanover was able to bring to the match. The final was 5-1 in favor of the Panthers.
The Pomeroys stunned the Panthers early as they swung the ball around to the left side to find freshman Emily Black with space to go at the last 2 defenders on her side. She beat one, then the other on the dribble, then went at the goalkeeper and beat her to the right for a 1-0 Pomeroy lead at the 4 minute mark. Though Hanover had the greater share of possession and kept pouring into the attacking third, the Woods defense held up well, holding them off and starting counterattacks with good patience and control through the first 20 minutes. At the 22nd minute, the Panthers were finally able to score back on an unassisted goal by Sarah Lathrop. It was another ten minutes before Hanover was able to take a lead in the 31st minute on one of Kelly McRoberts’ two goals of the match. Late in the half the Panthers managed their best speed of play and pressure (some truly excellent play in any arena for small college soccer) and scored twice more, making it 4-1 going into the halftime break. By that point the Panthers had doubled the Pomeroys’ possession and made twice as many trips into the attacking third.
This is not to say that the Pomeroys played badly. Debuting a new 4-2-3-1 formation with two holding midfielders, the Pomeroys found great sequences of possession, attacked confidently, and kept excellent organization on defense. As they began the second half, they took the lead for a time in possession and equaled the Panthers in shots, an achievement any team could be proud of this year. Though they finally allowed Kelly McRoberts a second goal, a one-touch cracker from the edge of the box, and left the field on the wrong end of a 5-1 margin, the Pomeroys showed they can still bring it, even after graduating 8 seniors and playing with only 15 players. There were performances that equaled anything that an individual Pomeroy player has done up to now and smiles all around at the final handshake. If they can stay healthy, good things may happen.