Bel Air’s girls soccer team came away victorious in yet another close game Tuesday night, scoring two goals in the second half to beat Harford Tech 3-1 in both teams’ UCBAC Chesapeake Division opener.
Senior forward Lexi Kraemer led the charge with two goals for the Bobcats (4-3). Bel Air’s victory snaps Harford Tech’s (4-3) three game winning streak, all of which were shutouts (the Cobras scored 10 goals during that stretch).
The Bobcats came into play Tuesday with all of their games being decided by two goals or less. The Cobras, already with two blowout wins on their resume, kept this game tight, but Bel Air had plenty of attempts at the net throughout the match.
“We’ve been working all season long to try to play simple,” Bel Air head coach Joshua Ruggiero said. “Once we were able to find a little bit of success and build on it one play at a time, it all started to click.”
The first half of the match started out slowly, with neither club establishing a rhythm early with constant quick possession. Bel Air notched the first clean scoring opportunity of the contest via a through ball in the seventh minute of the first half with Cobras goalkeeper Jordan Althoff making the save.
Four minutes later, the Bobcats took advantage of their slick passing when Kraemer received a through ball on the left side and scored the first goal of the match. The Cobras promptly answered back two minutes later with a Regan Salamoni goal to knot the game back up.
Bel Air spent the rest of the first half primarily in the attacking zone, with the Cobra’s defense and Althoff helping keep the game close. The Harford Tech defensive backs had a busy night defending crosses, corner kicks and shots that didn’t sail over the uprights at Bobcats Stadium.
“Coming into the game we only played two [forwards] up top, so we were kind of defensive,” Kraemer said after the game. “We tried to play possession and work [the ball] to the forwards and find the runs on the angles.”
Meanwhile, Harford Tech’s potent attacking unit struggled to sustain scoring chances. Anytime the Cobras didn’t overshoot through passes and pushed the ball into their offensive zone, the Bel Air defensive line quickly snuffed out any scoring chances.
The second half was more of the same for both clubs. Bel Air dominated possession. Harford Tech did have a chance to take the lead during the 15th minute of the second half but ultimately it proved fruitless.
The time Bel Air spent in the offensive third of the pitch in the second half did finally lead to goals. With 17 minutes left in regulation, Autumn Dockerty handled a free kick, sprinted down the middle of the pitch with two defenders surrounding her and broke the tie with strike in the upper right corner of the net.
Kraemer then finished the game off during the 24th minute of the second half with the second of her pair of goals.
The Bobcats are back in action in one of their last two non-conference games when they travel to face Good Counsel on Sept. 22. For Harford Tech, they hope to return to their winning ways when they head back home to play Fallston on Sept. 26.