Girls’ Soccer: Blue Devils Best Manchester Memorial 3-0

Memorial High School soccer
Salem and Memorial co-captains meet with referees pre-game. Photo/John Angelo

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Memorial Girl Crusaders played a solid second half at Chabot-McDonough Field last night but it wasn’t enough to dent the three-goal deficit of the first half. The scoreless second half actually provided more offense from the Crusaders and the Salem Blue Devils. 

Salem hit the crossbar off an excellent crossing pass by Charlotte Hinchey at the 24-minute mark of the second half. Memorial had several free kicks and two corner kicks on net in the half. Both goalkeepers were kept busy throughout.

“We had a lot of chances,” Memorial Coach Nick Gardner said post-game. “There was a lot to be proud of. I can’t be mad. They played a full game tonight.”

The Blue Devils bunched their scoring early in the first half,  with Rachel Carr scoring in the fourth minute, and again at the 20-minute mark off a free kick by Hinchey off a yellow card flagged on Crusader co-captain Payton Moran. Less than two minutes later, Salem’s Amelia Murray scored off a strong corner kick by Presley Marinelli. Memorial keeper Hannah Jenkins made a nice catch off a Salem corner kick 11 minutes into the half, preventing another goal.

Memorial defender Ryan White in motion. Photo/John Angelo

Memorial’s best opportunity in the first half came off an on-net 30-yard free kick by Kayleigh Brunette. The Blue Devils’ goalkeeper caught the high shot after first tipping it in the air. Brunette put a similar free kick on goal in the second half.

Memorial played better as the night progressed and one gets the feeling the offense, which has been slow to get in gear, may pay dividends before much longer.

Coach Gardner has stressed ball control, but the Crusaders defense deliberately kicked too many shots out of bounds in an attempt to thwart the Blue Devils’ offense. It could be viewed as a glass-half-full strategy, however, as the team defense has suffered from numerous breakaways.

Salem was without a single breakaway last night.

Memorial will host Bishop Guertin this coming Tuesday.