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Liberty falls to Kids 2-0 in girls soccer

Northampton girls soccer coach Mike Missmer had conflicting feelings about the last goal the Konkrete Kids scored in their 2-0 victory over Liberty on Sept. 7 at Liberty.

With just 17 seconds remaining, Danika Cuchran netted the exclamation point against senior goalie Sophia Albino.

“Sophia was my goalkeeper for club, and we won the U19 state championship, my first one ever,” Coach Missmer said. “I love that kid, so to see her deflated was hard, because the other side of it is I love Danika. I was super proud of her, and that was super important to be able to get that, but it’s tough when you coach club, and you’re with these kids eight months out of the year, and now you play against them.”

Northampton scored its first goal in the fourth minute of play when Olivia Abrachinksy shot to the far corner.

“It was a through ball, and I split the defenders. It set the tone for the rest of the game,” Abrachinksy. “I think we connected really well. I think we played a lot of through balls and got opportunities to score.”

Liberty forward Hannah Oliver took control of the Hurricane offense often, but getting a shot off eluded the ‘Canes.

“The final pass wasn’t there,” said Liberty head coach Andrew Uhler. “We were looking to play into their gaps between their outside back and their center back, playing wide and making diagonal runs. We just couldn’t hit that last pass to solidify in toward goal.”

The K-Kids took nine shots, mostly in the first half, as the Hurricanes were able to quiet down Northampton’s offense in the second half.

“We hung back for the purpose that they like to spread and play big balls over the top, so we looked to take away that gap,” Coach Uhler said. “We really honed in on that second half.”

Albino made seven saves against the Kids, and Northampton keeper Emma Fry made one save on one shot.

“I think we were taking quality chances,” said Coach Missmer. “They defended us well, Sophia is a great keeper, and she’s going to keep things out of the net. We seem to be a very good possession team, and when we get away from that, we don’t play well. Liberty, a lot of times, sits back defensively, which can be frustrating so scores will be a little lower, so we trained ways to get around that, but we wanted to be patient, and we knew the goals would come.”

Northampton had three chances in the 60th minute, one in which Albino was out of the goal, but Liberty’s defense held off the K-Kids.

“They definitely challenged us by pressing a lot down through the middle, but I think we connected very good and were able to get around them,” said Cuchran. “We knew that they sat back, so we tried to play it wide more and get a lot of crosses in.”

In the final minutes, the Hurricanes took a gamble by pushing opportunities forward, trying to take the match to 1-1.

“I’ve told the girls several times, probably more than they wanted to hear from me tonight after a loss, how proud I am of all of them,” Uhler said. “Sophia is a stud goalkeeper. We’re lucky to have her. She makes it look effortless and does things that frankly sometimes give me a bit of a heart attack, but she always knows what she’s doing, and I have full trust in her in the back.”

Press photo by Mark Kirlin Liberty's Natalya Teran fires a shot on goal during the Hurricanes recent game against the Konkrete Kids.