There was nothing flashy about the Landstown girls soccer team’s 2-1 win Monday against Princess Anne.
The Lady Eagles stuck to the methodical approach that’s been the hallmark of their last five wins following an 0-2 start to the season.
With the game tied 1-1 midway through the second half, Landstown’s most explosive attack, Alyse Stukey, took advantage of an unfolding play in the midfield and created an opportunity seemingly out of nothing.
The Eagles junior collected a pass and turned on her jets to split through a bevy of Cavalier defenders down the middle of the field. Her breakaway shot from 10 yards out to the back left post froze Cavaliers goalkeeper Destiny Kinka and gave Landstown its winning score in the 61st minute.
“That’s the best part of Alyse’s game is her ability to beat people 1 vs.1, 1 vs. 2 and 1 vs. 3, and be really confident with the ball,” Landstown coach Afton Cohen said after the game. “If she gets into that pocket, nine times out of 10 she’s finishing it.”
The Eagles (5-2) scored the games first goal in the 21st minute after a hand ball penalty on Cavaliers midfielder Heather Bowden in the box set up a penalty shot.
Landstown junior defender Carrie Knapp easily snuck a ground ball to the right side of the net to take a 1-0 lead.
Aside from her ability to execute when called upon, Knapp’s versatility was felt all over the field. She anchored a defense that rarely allowed the Cavaliers to generate shots inside 20 yards or create opportunities near the box.
“She’s end-to-end. She’s our captain, our leader,” Cohen said of Knapp. “I wish I could clone her. She’s just as dangerous on set plays as she is organized. We’ve got some young kids in the back and she’s doing an excellent job of keeping everybody composed.”
Landstown took a 1-0 lead into halftime and came out more aggressive in the second half after getting a feel of Princess Anne’s defense in the first 40 minutes, when both clubs appeared to be heavy legged at times.
Princess Anne (4-4) broke through in the opening minutes of the second half to even the score at 1-1.
Cavaliers junior defender Caroline Carlson collected a corner kick from Korena Shaw and tapped in the equalizer from 10 yards out past Eagles sophomore keeper Jasmine Crawley in the 47th minute. Princess Anne wouldn’t get an easier look at the net from then on.
Both Kinka (nine saves) and Crawley (five saves) were aggressive in front of the net.
Landstown out-shot Princess Anne 14-10, while the Cavaliers generated more corners (4-2).
The Eagles take their five-game winning streak into the final non-conference game Tuesday against Green Run. Princess Anne closes out its non-conference schedule Tuesday at Landstown.
“We’re building and now looking towards conference play,” Cohen said. “These are all building blocks and it’s about figuring out what works.”