DRYDEN — It should come as no surprise that Alex Brotherton and Hallie Allport were the main contributors in the Dryden Lions’ season-opening victory over the Lansing Bobcats Wednesday afternoon at Dryden High.
Brotherton, the defending IAC MVP, had a highlight-reel goal and Allport, who allowed just 11 goals in 16 games in 2019, had a 12-save clean sheet as the Lions defeated the Bobcats, 2-0.
Brotherton, who scored 15 goals in 2019, scored her first of 2021 in the 48th minute. After a sustained possession by the Bobcats that displayed some slick passing and resulted in a couple of blocked shots, the Lions’ back line was finally able to clear, and a perfectly placed ball to Brotherton allowed her to beat the last defender and go on a 50-yard run toward the goal with nobody around her. Once she got Bobcats goalie Iris Boerman to overcommit, she softly tapped the ball into the net for the score.
“She’s been our captain for two years,” Lions coach Neal McDowell said. “Sometimes she’ll just put her head down and just do her thing. We let her go when she does that, and it was an amazing finish and an amazing goal.”
Allport made her best save midway through the first half when she flew to her left to deflect a try from 30 yards out with her fingertips.
“Hallie’s been doing amazing for us for the last two or three years,” McDowell said. “Today she was determined not to let anyone score.”
Chloe Russell opened the scoring in the 28th minute when she denied a clearance by the Bobcats and lobbed a high, arcing, rainbow-like shot from 10 yards out that fell perfectly into the net behind Boerman.
The Bobcats had opportunities to score when Allport wasn’t able to make the save, but one of the more frustrating ones came on the rare two-sport double-doink — a Bobcats’ shot from just outside the right side of the 18-yard box ricocheted off the crossbar of the soccer net, and then off the crossbar of the football goalposts directly above it. Since the football goalposts are out of bounds, all it resulted in was a goal kick for Allport.
Not to be overlooked was the fact that this game was played in front of spectators, the first time since last March that any of these girls had played with fans in the stands. Even with only two family members allowed per player, it was a thrill in its own right, according to McDowell.
“It’s amazing to have our spectators allowed to be here,” McDowell said. “They played an amazing game today, they played for each other, and to have the Dryden community be able to watch then, even if on a significantly lower basis, with two spectators per girl, was an amazing experience.”
The Lions, who finished 12-4 and won the IAC Championship in 2019, can expect big things now and in the future from sophomore Ally Deeley and freshman McKenna Crocker. However, they will have to contend with the graduation of Ashleigh Scheidweiler and a season-ending knee injury for Heidi Nydam.
“We have been playing soccer anywhere we can during the pandemic hiatus,” McDowell
said. “The girls have participated in their respective club sessions and they’ve also continued to play as a Dryden team for local indoor leagues when available. The girls communicate very well and they have kept each other accountable and in shape. We’re looking forward to a fantastic season and getting everyone back out on the pitch.”
The Lions are back in action 4:30 p.m. Friday at Trumansburg.
GROTON 5, SO. CAYUGA 0
Five players scored for the Indians in their season-opening victory: Emma DeMatteo, Natalia Bell, Makayla Lockwood, Sharla Lockwood and Annie Felk.