New Oxford won its season-opening game, 4-2, at South Western High School on Tuesday afternoon, and it did so by spending almost the entire game on the Mustangs' side of the field.
The Colonials controlled the ball for the vast majority of the first half, earning nine shots on goal and eight corners. It limited the Mustangs to two bursts toward the goal. But South Western made much more of its opportunities than New Oxford did, and the two teams went into halftime tied, 2-2, despite the possession disparity.
"Their goalie was moving well and we weren't making smart shots," New Oxford coach Cheryl Mowery said of her team's slow start. "We were going to her pads a lot instead of passing off and going around. At the beginning of the season, that's something you have to work on."
The Colonials continued dominating the possession battle in the second half and broke the tie with a Sarah Pagnanelli goal on a pass from Kaelyn Long with 15 minutes left. Long added a goal of her own 10 minutes later as New Oxford blanked South Western in the second half to hold on to the win.
"One of the focuses today was to beat them to the ball, cut to the ball before they get there," Mowery said of the way her team controlled possession. "If you can get to the ball before them, you should be able to control the ball."
The Colonials did just that.
"We were playing defense the whole game," South Western coach Holly Long said. "We were backing up and on our heels the whole time."
New Oxford 4, South Western 2
New Oxford22—4South Western20—2
First half — 1. NO, Breanne Sauter (Shaela Pagnanelli), 17:44. 2. SW, Lily Soullaird, 12:42. 3. SW, Montana Utz (Evina Fernandes), 6:17. 4. NO, Braxtin Reddinger (Kaelyn Long), 4:00.
Second half — 5. NO, Sarah Pagnanelli (Long), 15:30. 6. NO, Long, 5:38.
Shots on goal — NO 16, SW 7
Corners — NO 18, SW 2
Goalies — NO, Sydney Leete (4 saves), Kaitlin Williams (3 ssaves). SW, Keirstyn Burke (16 saves).