The Clippers defeated McGann-Mercy, the only team they have beaten this season, for the second time on Tuesday. Both teams entered the Suffolk County League VIII game with only one win each. Justina Babcock notched a goal and an assist and Megan Knapp assisted twice in a 3-0 result at Southold High School that snapped a five-game losing streak by the Clippers.
In a season in which they have seen their share of difficulties, it was a good day for the Clippers (2-9-1, 2-7-1), who were 2-0 winners over McGann-Mercy (1-11, 1-8) on Sept. 29.
“There were a lot of positives from the game today,” Southold / Greenport Coach Kevin McGoey said. “We moved the ball around well. We were able to move it to the outside and get some crosses in to score a couple of goals.”
For all of their dominance in the first half, the Clippers had only one goal to show for it. Babcock, a freshman midfielder in her first varsity season, broke the ice in the seventh minute with her fourth goal of the season. Chasing after a left-wing service from Knapp, Babcock beat goalkeeper Amy Boden to the ball and put her shot away.
A little later in the half, Mackenzie Lennox of the Clippers sent the ball off the right post and it bounced back safely into Boden’s hands.
Nicole Busso made it 2-0 on Knapp’s second assist in the 61st minute.
Chelsea Anderson completed the scoring less than three minutes later, knocking in a centering pass from Babcock.
“Today we put together a lot of passes,” McGann-Mercy junior center midfielder Brieanne Bieber said. “We worked well as a team. We played the game of soccer. We just didn’t finish our shots today. We’d get an unlucky touch at the end or we’d touch it too far and their goalie would get it.”
Both teams are in similar situations. The playoffs are out of the question and the losses far outnumber the wins, but spirits have been high, nonetheless.
McGann-Mercy Coach Jacki Paton said her team is making progress.
“We’ve had better possessions,” she said. “We’re putting a lot more passes together, which we didn’t do in the beginning of the season, so we’ve improved as a unit together, and that was the goal.”
The Monarchs dropped their ninth straight game since a 5-2 win over The Ross School Ravens on Sept. 23. Bieber said the record isn’t an accurate reflection of how the Monarchs have played. She said the players are learning how to play together.
“We have a lot of good individual players, but we don’t really necessarily click,” Bieber said. “We don’t put the passes together. We’ll get one or two passes, but we need like four or five and then we need that shot at the end, and we have trouble getting all of that together.”
The Clippers know all about that. With only three players back from last year’s team, they knew 2010 wasn’t going to be an easy road.
“It’s been pretty tough, but we’ve been playing good even though we lost, and we’ve been playing really well as a team,” Babcock said. “We’ve progressed a lot. It’s been a good season even though we lost most of the games.”
McGoey said his players are learning what it takes to play at the varsity level in terms of commitment and intensity, and they are making strides forward.
“They’ve improved every game we played,” he said. “Unfortunately, the scores haven’t always reflected our improvement on the field.”