Second-half goal by Stefanski gives Manistee 1-0 win over TC Bulldogs

 

Manistee’s Georgia Hiipakka (12) takes the ball out of her own penalty area as teammate Erin Coe (14) looks on during the Chippewas’ 1-0 win over the Traverse City Bulldogs on Monday. The game was Manistee’s home opener. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Georgia Hiipakka (12) takes the ball out of her own penalty area as teammate Erin Coe (14) looks on during the Chippewas’ 1-0 win over the Traverse City Bulldogs on Monday. The game was Manistee’s home opener. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — After starting the season 0-2, Manistee girls soccer celebrated its 2016 home opener with a win over the Traverse City Bulldogs by the somewhat deceiving score of 1-0 on Monday.

Deceiving because the Chippewas dominated the contest from start to finish, keeping the Bulldogs goal under siege for virtually the entire 80 minutes.

With the loss, the Bulldogs, a team of Traverse City Christian homeschoolers, dropped to 0-1-1.

Mallory Stefanski scored the only goal of the contest, assisted by Joelle Bartynski, in the opening minutes of the second half.

“We definitely had plenty of opportunities in the first half, we just didn’t finish,” Manistee head coach Rudy Guillen said. “There are some things we definitely need to clean up on, ball control, shot selection, finishing, those kinds of things.”

Manistee’s best chance of the first half, out of many, came with 17:30 left until the break. After a scramble in front of the Bulldogs goal, the ball fell to Bartynski, who slammed it off the crossbar.

Traverse City nearly stole one with five minutes left in the first half, when a quick counterattack sent Bulldogs sophomore Savanna Raudman in clean on the Manistee goal, but Chippewa keeper Briana Larsen came out well and snuffed out the shot to preserve the 0-0 tie at the half.

“Traverse City is scrappy,” Guillen said. “We kind of figured that, and anticipated that they would give us a good game, and they did.”

Manistee finally broke through 2:31 into the second half, when Bartynski sent Stefanski in over the top down the left-wing side. Stefanski’s blast into the upper 90 made the score 1-0, and looked to finally open the floodgates.

That would be the only goal of the game, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Wave after wave of Manistee attacks threatened to break the game open, but the ball simply did not find the back of the net.

Stefanski missed her second by inches when she intercepted a Bulldogs goal kick and sent a shot just wide of the post.

Tatum Liston, who had a masterful game in the midfield, ran right at the heart of the defense halfway through the second half and smacked the crossbar.

“They’re attacking the goal, and that’s what we wanted them to do,” Guillen said. “We can’t tell them not to shoot, you’ve got to shoot to score, so I’m pretty pleased with how they played.”

While the Chippewas peppered the Bulldogs goal, the one goal was all they could muster.

“I am so proud of my girls,” Bulldogs head coach Cindy Crain said. “We have a really young team, and they did really well, learning to work together and forming as a team.”

Traverse City makes the trip into Manistee County again today, when they travel to face Brethren at 5 p.m.

Manistee will look to start a winning streak on Friday April 22, when they hit the road for Suttons Bay, a game that has already been postponed twice due to weather.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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