It took a little while, but the floodgates finally opened and the Hammond Skyhawks came away with a 4-nil win over the homestanding Ben Lippen Falcons in a SCISA Region I-4A matchup Tuesday, March 14.
The Skyhawks rattled off 14 shots to Ben Lippen’s one before they hit pay dirt with a blast from Brooks Brewer in the 45th minute. The eighth grader took a pass from Anne Perry Porter in the box and lofted a right-footer just under the crossbar for a 1-nil lead.
Fifteen shots later, Madeline Gerland curled a shot into the left corner for a 2-nil Hammond lead in the 66th minute.
After ripping off ten of the Skyhawks’ 32 shots to this point, Briana Pinasco finally got one by charging into the left side of the box and slipping a left footer into right corner for a 3-nil lead in the 71st minute.
Pinasco added another three minutes later taking a pass from Logan Rivers and hitting a right footer into the net for the final count.
The bright spot for Ben Lippen was keeper Abby Wilson who saved 14 shots, several of which were point blank, a few were dives, and one was a left footer that stopped a sure goal from Pinasco.
Hammond keeper Sophie Homeyer saved the one shot from Ben Lippen’s Mary Grace Gabriel in the 15th minute. Skyhawk defenders Libby Tompkins, Lily Balfour, Elle Brewer, Eliza Leavitt, and Gerland kept her clean the rest of the time.
“Every time you start region like this, it’s always a tough game,” Hammond head coach Rafael Marquez said of the Skyhawks’ region opener. “Playing it away. Ben Lippen did an excellent job of defense. I think they had 11 players back. We were there with the shots, and I’m just happy to get a win.”
The Skyhawks have made it to the state championship match the last two seasons, but Marquez was not ready to make any predictions for his team.
“It’s early; so as you can see we’re not really there yet,” he said. “We’re not passing the ball very well right now. It’s a ‘me’ type of show out there right now. Get it and dribble. That’s all we’re doing, and we’ve got to correct that and get better at that.”