Maloney, Brown power Lee girls soccer team to win over Taconic

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Jake Mendel

The Berkshire Eagle

PITTSFIELD — As the 2019 girls soccer season continues to unfold, the Lee Wildcats are emerging as a contender in the Berkshire South Division. With that in mind, coach Lauren Finnegan has raised the bar on what she expects from her girls and they answered the call in Tuesday's 3-0 over Taconic.

"We are trying to play more as a team and trust each other," Finnegan explained. "Trusting they'll be at the right place at the right time, know the defense will do its job and that trust has allowed us to have some success this year."

Despite Taconic (1-10, 0-5) controlling the ball for the game's first 20 minutes, the Wildcats (7-1-2, 4-1-1) weathered the storm and Caroline Maloney netted the first goal of the game in the 26th minute, giving Lee the early lead.

With less than two minutes remaining in the half, Carina Brown provided some breathing room after shaking a Taconic defender and placing the ball on the top shelf, increasing the lead to 2-0.

"This year we feel like we are together as a team and make effective passes so we can score," Brown explained. "We have to really move the ball together and when we do that we start get opportunities to make runs or cuts into the goal."

With 16 minutes remaining, Maloney found Brown, who punched the gas, flew by the Taconic defense and placed the ball in the back of the net, pushing the lead to three.

"When they mark Caroline, she's fine with sending it up to her teammates and letting them score," Finnegan said. "When she starts the playmaking it allows us to get other people noticed and gives opposing teams more to worry about."

Despite the loss, the Braves controlled the time of possession and just missed on a few opportunities to capture the game's momentum. Two of Taconic's best attempts were squashed on a diving save from Lee keeper Bella Lovato and a shot late in the second half smacked the post, but the ricochet came back into play.

"I thought we did a great job and it was one of our better games in terms of controlling the ball and keeping it down on offense," coach Jenna Giardina said. "Lee capitalized on their attempts. Sometimes the ball goes in and sometimes it hits off the inside of the post and comes out."

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Tuesday's game marked the second of three turf games the Wildcats will play this week. On Thursday Lee will travel to Pope Francis. Meanwhile, the Braves are off until they host Mount Greylock on Friday.

———

Lee      2     1     —     3

Taconic     0     0     —     0     

First Half

L — Caroline Maloney (Unassisted), 25:36

L — Carina Brown (Lydia Simone), 38:00

Second Half

L — Brown (Maloney), 63:56

Saves — L: Bella Lovato: 5. T: Leeyia Hoose: 8.

Jake Mendel can be reached at jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.


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