Jasper Wilson | Observer Reporter
For the first 25 minutes of a rivalry game between two of the best high school girls soccer teams in the area, the matchup looked even.
Canon-McMillan and Peters Township, the first and second place teams respectively in Section 2-AAAA entering Monday night, each had strong stretches of play but neither could translate their efforts into an early lead. It would take a bad bounce for that dynamic to shift.
A handball by an Indians defender gifted the Canon-McMillan a chance to move in front. Senior midfielder and Hofstra commit Sabrina Bryan buried the spot kick hard to the right of the Peters Township goalkeeper.
Both teams continued to push after the goal. But Peters Township couldn’t draw even or break the shutout while the hosts would add on to their lead in the ensuing 15 minutes before halftime. Canon-McMillan went on to a 3-0 victory.
The Big Macs are 4-0-1 in section and 7-0-1 overall.
“After a goal, I train them to go harder than they were before,” C-M coach David Derrico said. “They picked up the energy level. They saw then they were beatable. That gave them the confidence to just go for it.”
Bryan doubled her goal total in the 33rd minute when she collected an Aideen O’Donoghue long ball with smoothness outside the box before taking a few sideways dribbles towards the middle of the field, turning to net with multiple defenders in front of her and placing a shot just inside the left post. Sophomore forward Addie Roman added the third goal in the 36th minute, when she floated an attempt from the right edge of the box over the Indians goalkeeper that dropped softly into far side netting.
Derrico said that Roman admitted the goal was initially meant as a cross to a teammate at the far post.
The Indians (2-2, 5-3-1) continued to push forward after halftime but couldn’t mount much of a challenge in the offensive third to Big Macs senior goale Megan Virgin, a Long Island commit. Peters Township had 10 shots in the game, including a one-on-one breakaway chance in the seventh minute that Virgin broke up. Shots would finish at 10 apiece.
“When we have our opportunities, right now we’re just not finishing,” Peters Township coach Pat Vereb said. “And that’s just sort of putting us in a bad way.”