It took 12 minutes of stalemate between the 18s, but a Nesbitt corner kick would bounce through three Fair Haven defenders to find Aas in the middle of the box for the 1-0 lead. While the first half was low on excitement, coach Chris Walling said he felt comfortable with the 1-0 advantage his team had going into the half.
This would be the Wildcats’ only score in the first 75 minutes, but less than a minute into the game, Jordan Niles had a good shot on a cross pass from Nesbitt that went directly to the keeper. Moments later, the visiting Slaters’ Brook Mead found Bethany Lanfear wide open in front of the box, a perfect chance called back for an offside penalty.
The Wildcat defense would give few opportunities to Fair Haven throughout the game, playing absolute shut-down ball in the second half, while their offense relentlessly went after their opponents’ tired legs. Walling said that his defense’s strong play allowed him to shuffle his positioning on offense, in an effort to improve on speed, midfield containment, and shot placement. “Through the course of the game it was 1-0, but I was not overly concerned,” said Walling. “It felt like good control and we did a good job marking up. It was a matter of getting breathing room at that point.”
Nesbitt would provide the breathing room late in the second half as the Wildcats began to get shot after shot on Fair Haven’s net. Nesbitt drove through two defenders and nailed one into the left side, throwing down her fist emphatically, finally finding that elusive second goal.
Still, the Wildcats are looking for a smoother passing game and a little more help at outside back. Walling put Karlee Walkowiak there, using her speed to help contain Fair Haven’s offense, while on offense he moved Aas to the middle, and Nesbitt up front. “I’m OK with being 3-2,” said Walling. “It’s a matter of time before we figure out our offense and get kids in the right spots.
“We have some big tests coming from Mount St. Joseph and Arlington, so we need to kick it into gear and have these things figured out.”
Twin Valley plays at Arlington tonight at 7 pm.