Aug. 30—Had it been available and offered, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin coach Rick Sirl likely would have accepted some sort of headache relief walking away from an Aug. 30 trip to Lake Catholic in the sides’ annual rivalry match.
His Lions’ side would have followed in unison — warm towel, aspirin … any sort of remedy really.
That’s what happens when the following rings true:
NDCL generated 10 shots on target and five corners, the latter all coming in the second 40, along with dominating possession and attacking quality.
But the Cougars, to their utmost credit, held firm on their home pitch in the defensive third, getting a laudable 10-save clean sheet from goalkeeper Carmella Sowers as the sides battled to a 0-0 draw.
Postmatch, amid a sprinkle that carried through much of the 80, Sirl didn’t say much to his side. But he didn’t have to. They all understood the reality.
“A little parked bus. A little packed,” Sirl said. “We were having a little trouble finding that final finishing ball. A couple just wide of the net.
“Everything else was working. The possession was good. Playing wide players. Good movement off the ball. That final third just wasn’t there tonight.”
The Lions (1-2-2) had a pair of decent chances in the opening 40. Kylie Hoenigman and Georgie Forte had looks at an account opener in the eighth and 24th minute, respectively. But Sowers was up to the task to keep it scoreless.
After halftime, NDCL continued to try to locate end product that was not to be. Sowers logged two more good saves in the 42nd and 44th.
“She did a good job keeping the ball, and that’s a big part of it, on a night like this, just keeping the ball in your hands, it’s important,” Sirl said. “So she did a really good job.”
On their fifth corner of the match in the 68th, the Lions even threw in a short set piece. Sofie Wurm chipped a diagonal ball for Hoenigman, but her header went high.
“Finding good slip balls, good diagonal balls at the end,” Sirl said of what he’d like to see from his side moving forward after this result. “This is a field that runs really fast, so a typical through ball is going to run 10, 15 yards further than it normally would.
“So I think on a night like this, we would have been looking for some more diagonals, maybe some flighted balls with some backspin and give them some chances out in front of the goalie and stuff. So … yeah.”
The last sentence essentially captured Sirl’s understandable lament.
This marks the first draw in 19 meetings in the series since 2007.
Efforts to locate Lake Catholic coach Alison Ellis, whose side is now 0-2-2 on the fall, postmatch for comment were unsuccessful.
#NHsoccer My postmatch video analysis of a 0-0 draw between NDCL & Lake Catholic girls
(Match story coming along shortly) pic.twitter.com/rX1l4AuPib
— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) August 31, 2023