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Central girls soccer defeats Watertown in defensive struggle

Watertown goal keeper Katelyn Hanson, front, blocks the shot on goal attempt of Aberdeen Central’s Jayda Hammer, back left, during Tuesday’s match at Swisher Field. Photo by John Davis taken 9/21/2021

The Aberdeen Central girls’ soccer team improved to 9-1 on the season and claimed its third-straight victory with a 1-0 win over Watertown Tuesday night at Swisher Field.

The starting goalkeepers for each team, Central’s Paige Burilovich and Watertown’s Katelyn Hanson, headlined the first-half performances with their aggressive goalkeeping. Burilovich prevented a decent look at goal for Watertown by sprinting out to the edge of the penalty box in the opening minutes and registered a diving save later in the half.

Tuesday’s game was Burilovich’s sixth shutout of the year.

“She’s kind of that rock back there,” noted Central coach Merle Aske. “As a team, you know you’re going to give up goals, but you also have to rely on your goalkeeper to make those saves, and that was a crucial one in the first half.”

Hanson saved a close-shot effort from Eagles forward Jayda Hammer and also fended off a tap-in opportunity from Morgan Fiedler. Despite ending the half scoreless, Central accumulated eight shots on goal.

The Eagles dramatically increased the pace coming out of the locker room, creating two quick goal-scoring opportunities in the first minute of the half.

“It’s not about winning the ball and holding it; it’s about winning the ball and going forward. We won the ball and didn’t go forward right away, we tried to go wide first instead of up the field,” Aske said.

Hansen kept the Arrows in the game with her execution between the posts, tallying a total of 17 saves.

Aberdeen scored the only goal of the game on a shot from sophomore forward Lauren Joosten that took multiple deflections off of Watertown defenders before rolling into the back of the net. Kaylin Poppen provided the game-winning assist.

“We just worked on looking up and finding feet faster and the communication really improved in the second half,” said Central forward Deshani Peters.

Despite the winning result, the Eagles look to improve in their offensive rhythm in the attacking third and ability to create better shots on goal.

“We need to play faster and play with each other instead of just thinking it’s only you going to the goal,” Peters said.

Central travels to Yankton on Saturday for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Gazelles (4-5-2).

Watertown 0 0 – 0
Aberdeen Central 0 1 – 1

First Half: None.

Second Half: Aberdeen Central, Lauren Joosten (Kaylin Poppen) 58th minute.

Shots on Goal: Watertown 6; Aberdeen Central 18.

Goalies: Watertown, Katelyn Hanson; Aberdeen Central, Paige Burilovich.

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