By TIM IRVING
Pittsford Mendon girls soccer coach Eric Pritchard didn’t make it a strategy for his Vikings to score early against Greece Athena, it just worked out that way.
“We were just trying to create more chances because that’s what we’ve been struggling with, but take more shots,” Pritchard said after his team beat the Trojans 3-0 on three first half goals.
Strategy or not it took just 1:49 for the Vikings to get on the board. Junior Lauren DiMarzo sent a corner kick from the far side that hit the far side netting for a quick 1-0 Mendon lead.
Just under 14 minutes into the game, Bridget Merkel fed Rachel Lee in the middle of the field and from 35 yards out, buried a ball in the side netting for a 2-0 advantage.
The Vikings kept the ball opposite Athena sophomore Wrianna Hudson for the most part, already with five goals this season, Hudson got a chance on a breakaway but Leah Shaffer got a finger on it to force it wide.
With just under five minutes left to play in the first half, Merkel hit Danielle Strauf in front. The senior settled then fired the ball under the cross bar for the third goal of the game.
Hudson is going to draw a lot of attention from college coaches but also opposing defenses. “She’s a very good player and you can only hope to contain her most of the time,” Pritchard said. “We didn’t change our defense, we just made sure we’re aware, constantly aware.”
The Trojans (4-1) put together some strong attacks in the second half but the defense, led by sweeper back Kate Hennessey, kept the shots away from Shaffer for the most part.
With the 3-0 victory, Mendon (3-1) bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Webster Thomas and that was what pleased Pritchard the most.
“After our last game, (a strategy to get out fast) it was because we had a lot of trouble scoring and creating chances and that was our goal.”
The Vikings travel to Penfield on Wednesday for a special game, hoping to raise money for a Penfield student battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.