Girls Soccer: Grafton Unable to Break Through Poquoson Defense in Shutout Loss

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Sydny Pepper
Sydny Pepper prepares to rip a shot on net. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)

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A Grafton turnover that led to a score in the fourth minute was the difference maker Tuesday evening as Poquoson defeated Grafton 1-0 at Bailey Field.

Grafton's Julia Larsen attempted to pass the ball to a fellow defender, but her pass was picked off by Poquoson's Erin McMullin. Faced with a one-on-one situation against the keeper, McMullin slotted the ball into the back of the net for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

"We struggled connecting out of the back and we kept giving the ball away," Grafton Coach Galen Small said. "Other than that, we bounced back and had some opportunities ourselves."

Scoring opportunities for Grafton proved fruitless as the Clippers were unable to finish shots coming off crosses. Making matters worse was Poquoson goalkeeper Savanna Monroe, who made numerous saves to help secure the shutout victory for the Islanders.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Grafton ratcheted up the intensity in the second half and put the pressure on Poquoson's defense.

In the 55th minute, Larsen received a pass and ripped a hard shot at the Poquoson goal. Monroe got airborne and was able to tip the shot over the crossbar to shut down the scoring chance.

Later in the half, Sydny Pepper and Malia Valentine connected on a series of give-and-go passes that found Pepper with an open look from the right side. Pepper fired a mid-range shot across the face of the goal, but once again Monroe was able to push the ball away.

With less than two minutes remaining, Grafton's Sabrina Matos had perhaps the best scoring opportunity of the game for the Clippers. Monroe misread a cross that was sent in from the left side of the field and allowed the ball to fall to Matos' feet alone near the back post.

Unfortunately for Grafton, Matos was unable to make solid contact with the ball and pushed the shot wide of the net shortly before the final whistle sounded.

Grafton (2-2) will now look to rebound Thursday at home against Bruton.

Poquoson 1, Grafton 0

Goals: Poquoson (Erin McMullin)

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