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Central girls remain unbeaten

Aberdeen Central’s Jayda Hammer, center, tries to head the ball on a throw in along with Pierre’s Brianna Sargent (3), Oksana Mutchelknaus (11) and Gracelyn Taylor (16) during Saturday’s match at Swisher Field. In the foreground at left for Pierre is Kamden Kuipers (8). Photo by John Davis taken 8/28/2021

Aberdeen Central used the right blend of patience and pressure against Pierre at Swisher Field Saturday afternoon.

The top-rated Golden Eagles patiently waited for their opportunities and then quickly took advantage of them on the way to 4-0 girls’ soccer victory.

“We knew we had to control the pace of the game and possessions. I thought we did a pretty good job of that,” said Central coach Merle Aske. “We were able to get in behind them when we had our opportunities, play it in and we were able to finish.”

The Eagles had to make sure they didn’t get ahead of themselves against Pierre’s line. They waited for their chances and capitalized.

“The passing was where it needed to be. We knew they were going to come up and play high, so we couldn’t just run forward because we were going to be offsides,” Aske said. “We had to play it in slowly and find the opportunities and split them when we had it.”

A big factor in that passing attack was centerback Makylie Miller, who controlled life in the midfield. She said it helps that the girls know each other so well.

“We have a lot of chemistry. You can tell that we’ve been playing with each other throughout the summer,” Miller said. “Today, we scored two goals right away and it kind of got our momentum going.”

Aske said that Miller has a knack of not only winning balls to help the defense, but then knowing where to go with it to ignite Central’s offense.

“She knows when to go forward and when not to. She’s so good on the ball, just playing the ball away from players and getting it off their feet so that we can go forward faster,” Aske said. “You saw the one time when she pulled the ball from the attacker and the attacker went down, and then she has clear space and she can pick people out. She does a good job of playing the ball to the right places so we can get forward more quickly and just keep possession. Makylie is just so quick and slick on the ball when she plays the ball forward.”

The Eagles are one of the quickest squads in the state. That speed plays a key role not only on offense, but also on defense to keep opponents from getting high-percentage shots on goal.

“Without the speed I think that they would have a lot more opportunities,” Miller said, “but we can kind of read the game good, so if they try splitting it through, no matter where we are we can shut those opportunities out.”

For the second straight game, the Eagles were able to prevent the opposition from getting quality looks in front of the Central goal.

“We didn’t give them any clean looks,” Aske said. “They got a few shots on frame, but they were slow-rollers or they were under pressure so they had to get the ball out quickly.”

Morgan Fiedler scored a goal and had a pin-point pass to Jayda Hammer for another. Deshani Peters and Lauren Joosten also found the back of the net for the Eagles.

Central is now 5-0 on the season. The Eagles play at Huron Tuesday before taking on Brandon Valley, Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Harrisburg.

“It’s a good start. We have the meat of our schedule the next few games,” Aske said. “So three tough games coming up, but we’ll just take it as it comes.”

Aberdeen Central 4, Pierre 0

Pierre 0 0 – 0

Aberdeen Central 3 1 – 4

First Half: AC, Jayda Hammer (Morgan Fiedler), 6th minute; AC, Deshani Peters, 8th minute; AC, Lauren Joosten (Hammer), 23rd minute.

Second Half: AC, Fiedler, 66th minute.

Shots on Goal: Pierre 8; Aberdeen Central 17.

Goalies: Pierre, Jenna Goering 13 saves; Aberdeen Central, Paige Burlivich 7 saves, Ciara Frank, 1 save.

JV: Aberdeen Central 5-1.

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