By Logan Brandon • Logan Brandon • 

Pirates edge Warriors 2-1 in girls' soccer rivalry

AMITY – A closely contested girls’ soccer rivalry match between Amity and Dayton ended in a narrow 2-1 victory for the visiting Pirates.

Both sides failed to generate a goal in the first half, though, not for lack of effort. The Pirates launched five shots on goal in the initial 40 minutes, but Amity keeper Morgan Croxford displayed a steady presence in net.

The Warriors attempted a number of through balls, probing the Dayton backline. However, the strong play of Araceli Ceras-Estrada, Violet Holland, Anika Cook, Brooke Oliveira and Alejandra Vazquez proved impenetrable early in the contest.

With neither side willing to budge their game plans, the teams entered halftime tied 0-0.

Dayton upped the pressure as the second half started, firing another barrage of shots at Croxford. The senior goalie made three saves from the 40th to the 50th minutes, keeping her team in the game.

However, the Pirates finally broke through in the 51st. Lynsey Katzler lofted a great corner kick into the box, Teresa Avalos collected, sidestepped two Warrior defenders, and slotted home the opening goal. Croxford managed a hand to the shot, but Avalos placed enough velocity on the ball to help it carry into the netting.

Seven minutes later, Kyndra Knuth tried to lead Amity to a tying goal. She partnered with Keeley Graham and Jenna Lopez up front and the three fought the stout Dayton defense on a pair of counters in the 66th minute. Alas, Holland stymied both attacks, stepping into running lanes to knock away the ball.

The Pirates added an insurance goal in the 74th minute. Katzler found a sliver of space in the Amity defensive midfield, and fired a 22-yard left-footed blast to hand the road team a 2-0 advantage.

Graham snatched a late goal for the Warriors in the 78th minute, outracing three Pirate defenders on a through ball, then lifting a high-arching shot over Adriana Garcia to narrow the gap to 2-1.

Amity had one last opportunity to draw in the 80th minute, as Knuth’s corner kick bounced dangerously in the box, but Garcia cleared and the final whistle blew.

Croxford made 14 saves for the Warriors. Graham had three shots on goal including her late score. No other Amity player recorded more than one shot.

Katzler added an assist to her goal, while Avalos tallied six shots on goal aside from opening strike in the 51st minute. Melina Alvarez added eight shots, two on target.

Dayton (4-4-1, 4-3-1 SD3) next hosts Taft Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

The Warriors (2-5-1, 2-4-1 SD3) return to action at Salem Academy Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

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