No. 9 Mercy beats No. 15 Howard, 5-2

September 28, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Mercy can make teams struggle, and Howard showed yesterday it was no exception.

Ninth-ranked Mercy executed stretches of near-perfect balanced offense to pound No. 15 and visiting Howard, 5-2. The Sharpshooters outshot the Lions, 20-10, and never allowed them to get into an offensive flow.

"We're not used to that kick-and-run style of soccer," Howard coach Dave Vezzi said. "We just didn't adjust well to that the entire game."

Howard (1-2-1) had to settle for single-shot opportunities, but regrouped to close to within 3-2 after Karen Krupka powered in a goal between a crowd of defenders 17 minutes into the second half.

However, one minute later, Mercy senior forward Heather Miskiewicz intercepted a clearing pass and scored on a one-on-one situation against goalkeeper Elissa Shefrin.

"When we got back to 3-2, we started to get the momentum going our way," Vezzi said. "But that fourth goal [by Mercy] came too quickly. That killed us."

One of the main goals for the Lions was to contain Miskiewicz (11 goals, two assists), second in the area in scoring. While Howard fullback Jen Chalfin and other defenders did close down Miskiewicz's angles on shots, it left the field more open for other front-line players.

Sophomore Tina Steck (two goals) and junior Lacey Morley (one, one) found the seams to pace a Mercy offense, which has averaged nearly four goals a game.

Morley used that advantage to score in the upper right corner of the goal 13:25 into the game for a 1-0 lead. Then, 4:25 after Howard tied the game at 1-1, Morley put the Sharpshooters ahead for good by feeding Steck for a score .

"All the defenders surround Heather," Morley said. "That leaves me wide open for a pass back or cutting in."

Even with Mercy maneuvering at top speed, the Sharpshooters followed a season pattern of not finishing off an opponent until the second half. The trend doesn't seem to bother Sharpshooters coach Bob Doerfler.

"Now if we are even up after the first half, I feel pretty good," Doerfler said. "It doesn't matter if we are going uphill, downhill, or running into the sun in the second half, I know this team will get it done."

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