CHATHAM, NJ - Reactiveness is what Chatham girls soccer coach Gary Adair saw as his team’s Kryptonite as the Lady Cougars fell, 1-0, on Wednesday to Morristown.
“I think we were very reactive today to what Morristown were doing as opposed to being proactive and doing our own thing,” Adair said. “If you’re reactive to what they do, they’re already moving before you even start.”
This came after the Lady Cougars struggled to keep the ball on their half of the field throughout the afternoon at Haas Field. Morristown controlled possession in the first half, but were unable to score as the teams went to halftime tied, 0-0.
“I wanted them to just settle down and recognize where opportunities were on the field,” Adair said about what his message was to his team going into the second half.
The message got through, as the second half presented more possessions and scoring chances for Chatham (1-2). In the first minute of the second half, junior Meredith Enslow fired a shot from about 25 yards out that would have gone in if not for a miraculous save by Morristown goalkeeper Sarah Wilson.
“She was able to get a really good shot off and, albeit from a great save from their goalie, we’d
have been 1-0 up after a minute of the second half,” Adair said about Enslow’s near-goal, which
began a string of high paced action over the next several minutes.
Both teams got their offensive juices flowing, and it culminated with Morristown netting the lone goal of the match. After referees played advantage, Morristown’s Morgan O’Neill blasted home the goal off a cross to give the Colonials (2-1-1) the 1-0 lead with 36:27 left. Just minutes later, the Lady Cougars’ forwards gained some momentum up the field on several possessions. Junior striker Caroline Crouse had several good runs up the field, but Morristown’s defense swarmed and forced tough chances for Chatham once they were near the 18-yard box.
“I really do feel like ultimately we’re in control of everything we do, so if we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, or we’re not being proactive to probe into areas, then Morristown is obviously going to pick us off,” Adair said.
With another quick turnaround coming up for the Lady Cougars, Adair knows his game plan for having the girls ready for Friday.
“Limit mistakes on the ball and talk about the movement so that people know exactly what to expect when they get it and what to look for.”
Chatham is home again on Friday when it takes on Mendham at 4 p.m.