Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hopewell shuts out Olympic in first round of girls 4A playoffs

A foursome of seniors led the Hopewell Titans (13-4-2) to a 4-0 victory over the Olympic Trojans in an opening-round state 4A girls soccer playoff match Wednesday at Olympic.

Forward Gretchen Gauvreau, midfielder Brooke Arey, and defender Celeste Godwin scored goals for Hopewell, while Titans goalie Zoe Sellick stopped the few quality scoring opportunities that came her way to earn the shutout. Junior Nicole Gurley also added a late second-half goal to seal the win.

Olympic's two top scorers, sophomore Mecca Love and junior Devanshi Patel, were held in check by Sellick and a stingy Titans defense. A big territorial edge in the match proved to be Hopewell's best defense.

"It's always been a team effort," said Titans coach Robb Bolar. "Four of our back players are seniors, and it's really been important for us have a really good back. I've been told that their forwards are fast, that they're really good, and we really looked to shut that down as a team."

Hopewell scored just five minutes into the contest when Gauvreau booted a cross by Olympic goalie Katie Matthews. Thirty minutes later Arey found herself alone on a breakaway, and lobbed the ball over the head of Matthews from 35 yards out for a 2-0 lead.

"The first two times the goalie tackled me, so the next time I decided I was just going to knock it over her head when she came out," said Arey. "I listened to my coaches advice and as soon as she started running towards me, I just flicked it over her head and I knew it was going in."

Olympic (14-7-2), which averaged 4.8 goals-per-game in the regular season, struggled to get their offense in gear. "We got something going at the end there but Hopewell kept us off-balance," said Trojans coach Matt Merrill. "We just couldn't keep a consistent attack and they found a good way to do that. We congratulate them."

Hopewell will face Hough in the next round of the playoffs Friday or Saturday.

-- Special Correspondent Tim Donelli