AMORY - The Amory Lady Panthers weathered a first half storm of shots and defeated New Albany 1-0 last Tuesday night.
The Amory defense never broke despite the plethora of shots coming from all directions by the Lady Bulldogs as keeper Annabelle Holman and her defensive backline kept the ball out of the frame.
Holman recorded nine saves for her night's work to go along with one take. Alyssa Schrock had six stops.
"I thought defensively we did a really good job keeping No. 2 (Josephine Pittman) from getting shooting opportunities, especially in the second half," Amory coach Nathan Clayton said. "She cranked a few in the half on us. Pittman, Caroline King and Sammi Jo Doyle, we knew we had to get bodies on them as soon as they got the ball. I thought defensively our positioning was really good with our midfielders and our forwards. I thought our center mids did a really good job bodying up No. 2 in the middle, getting goal-side of her and trying to cut off passing lanes to her."
New Albany fired up 15 shots during the first half with six of those going on goal, but the Lady Panthers were able to withstand the pressure and the teams went to half tied 0-0.
The lone goal of the contest came in the 58th minute off an own goal by New Albany, which came off a ball played inside the box off Mylie Williams' foot. The ball bounced off a Lady Bulldog and rolled inside the right post for the 1-0 advantage.
"We were fortunate that the ball that Mylie gets, and it ends up bouncing around down there and we got the luck of a roll on it," Clayton said. "I mean it was a hard-fought game between both teams, and we just got a break on that ball that went across the line for the goal."
The Lady Panthers held the shot advantage in the second half as they offered up five shots while New Albany had four.
"I thought we did a little better offensively in the second half, we changed up the formation from what we had been doing, and we did get a few more shooting opportunities," Clayton said. "We felt like if we had done a little better job getting in splits, we should have been able to generate a few more than we actually got tonight. We've got to improve on that and the speed of play on our counter attack has got to get a little bit faster.
Clayton complimented the versatility of sophomore Emma Gore.
"Emma played pretty well for us up top and then we moved her to the backline, and she did a really good job there at the end," Clayton said. "I'm really pleased with the way our girls played. New Albany has got a really good team offensively, they are stout."
(B) New Albany 1, Amory 0
New Albany came back to take the split in the action on Tuesday with their 1-0 win over Amory in the varsity boys match.
Kevin Hernandez found net for the Bulldogs in the 22nd minute off a corner by Jorge Favela and that goal held up for the win.
Keeper Ray Bright and his Bulldog defensive backline kept the Panthers at bay and earned the shutout.
Amory outshot New Albany by a 10 to 4 margin during the first half, but none found the frame. New Albany held a 7 to 6 shooting advantage in the second half.
"Amory is a high quality program with a plethora of experience on the current team, so I won't be surprised if they make a deep playoff run," New Albany coach Austin Baker said. "I was proud of our response to this tough game."