INDEPENDENCE—Neither Independence nor visiting Euclid could find the back of the net in Monday’s non-conference game on the turf of Alumni Field at Stan Skoczen Stadium but the Blue Devils and Panthers had their chances.
The Blue Devils, who dropped to 0-2-2 on the year, missed several scoring opportunities and the Panthers were denied by Independence goalie Krista DeFini multiple times.
“Euclid played well,” said Independence coach Bryan Less. “We played them in the past so I knew they were going to have really good effort and they had some good speed. We controlled the ball but we're really young on the offensive end so we're just working on our finishing and the final point of the attack.”
Despite the lack of scoring, Less noted the improvement his young offense made in distributing the ball to set up those missed shots.
“We had some really good give-and-goes on the outside, linking the outside (midfielders), center mids and the forwards, but right now we're just having trouble finishing the attack,” he said. “We're having a nice build up. It will come.”
Julia Gutermuth had two shots just miss the net and she also nearly had an assist off a beautifully placed corner kick.
“It's always hard with corners because it never works the right way in practice,” Less said. “Our corners are 10 yards short in practice on our training field but that one was beautifully placed right there. She kicked that to three freshmen and a junior. We spent a lot of time last week changing their point of attack to coming back to the middle and swinging it over. That last real good shot with Lauren St. Andrew was that. The ball bounced back to Emily (Reed) in the center mid and she swung it over to Julia and Julia made one more pass for that wide open attempt.”
Less praised Daniela Radujkovic, Jasmine Harb and Reed for their individual efforts.
“The center backs I thought played really well, Daniella and Jasmine, but they make their mistakes at times. Unfortunately their mistakes end up in goals against us,” Less said. “Our other mistakes just end up in nothing on the offensive end. A lot of times the defensive mistakes get pointed out but I thought for the most part the back four played well. I thought Emily Reed played a really nice game. She really helped us move the ball from side to side.”
Independence hosts Wickliffe on Thursday.