Stiles chases ball

PLYMOUTH — It wasn’t for lack of effort or opportunity but Plymouth’s Lady Rockies came away from a home NLC match with Concord with a 1-1 tie.
In the end, it was a game of missed opportunities as Plymouth had a multitude of shots that just missed or were turned away by Concord keeper Kendal Swartout. Her ability to change the field on goal kicks and punts were also a big positive for Concord.
“They have a great keeper and she saves them,” said Plymouth coach Stephanie Ferch. “Her returns are big and powerful and that’s an advantage for them that’s for sure.”
The game started with a frenzy of activity as Concord’s Vada Swanson hit a breakaway just five minutes in.
Plymouth’s Aubrey Vervynckt would match her with an outstanding long-distance blast that beat Swartout to the upper right corner to tie it.
Just moments later Swanson would get another breakaway look that Plymouth keeper Mia Wojcik would turn away with an outstanding save.
From that point on the game became a defensive slugfest with Plymouth applying continual pressure but not being able to drive the deciding goal home.
At around the nine-minute mark, Vervynckt and Lindsay Janus would each miss point-blank opportunities turned away by Swartout. Just seconds after that Vervynckt hit what looked like another perfect shot that hit the left post.
“We had a few that didn’t fall for us,” said Ferch. “It would have been a different game if one or two would have dropped. We had a lot of close ones, some good shots, some good breakaways and we were able to contain them offensively.”
Plymouth continued the pressure in half number two with Janus and Vervynckt continuing to put great pressure on Swartout, both just missing good opportunities in the first ten minutes and Lauren Manges missing a header on a corner kick at 26 minutes.
Swartout would make an outstanding save at 17:06 on a good shot by Janus denying another attempt to get the lead goal.
From there the game became a defensive battle with neither team gaining an advantage.
A bit of controversy would develop as Concord’s Riley Cooper would ride Veryvynckt to the ground inside the box with no call.
With ten seconds left in the game, Concord was able to get the ball to Swanson in front of the Plymouth defense but Wojcik was up to the task of turning a great opportunity for the win into nothing.
For the night Plymouth’s defense was up to the task of keeping the ball away from Concord’s Swanson, a big offensive threat. After the opening minutes, they would keep her from any sort of opportunity until those final seconds.
“We eliminated her for sure,” said Ferch. “Our defense did a good job of adjusting and taking her out of the game. That was a win.”
Plymouth is now 8-3-1 on the year and 3-1-1 in NLC play. The Lady Rockies are in action again on Thursday against Wawasee. Concord is now 4-4-3 on the year and 2-1-2 in NLC play.