WILDCATS 7, PANTHERS 3
Some goalkeepers may dread every time the whistle blows to award the opponent a free position. For the offense, it represents a golden scoring opportunity, a chance for the player with the ball to wind up for an open shot, or draw in the collapsing defense and pass to a teammate.
Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Lauren Daly has faced countless free positions during her five-year run as the Wildcats’ starting goalkeeper. And she doesn’t mind them one bit.
“For me, I like free positions,” Daly said. “I don’t know why. It’s a weird thing.”
It probably helps that more often than not, Daly seems to make the save, even at point-blank range. Against Miller Place Monday afternoon, Daly faced numerous free positions from the Panthers. And she robbed them of several goals, preserving a stout overall defensive effort from the Wildcats in a much-needed 7-3 victory at Miller Place High School.
Daly was sharp throughout. And the defense in front of her, led by seniors Erin Blomberg and Manuela Cortes, left few openings for the Panthers to get any easy shots.
Three goals was the fewest the Wildcats have given up in a game this season aside from a shutout against McGann-Mercy April 22.
It was a key win coming off a tough loss to Sayville Friday, a game the Wildcats dropped 12-4. Shoreham improved to 6-4 in Division II and 7-4 overall. The Wildcats came into the game ninth in power points in Division II.
Sophie Triandifils led Shoreham’s offense Monday with three goals. Her goal on a free position with 3:11 left in the first half sparked a quick 3-0 run for the Wildcats that gave them some breathing room before halftime.
The Wildcats struck for three goals in 2:02 to turn a one-goal lead into a 5-1 halftime advantage.
The Panthers got to within two in the second half after a free position goal — one of the few they converted — with 12:03 left. But Shoreham kept them off the scoreboard the remainder of the game.
The Wildcats return home Wednesday for another tough game against Eastport-South Manor, the team currently in second place in Division II.