WHITEMARSH >> After Germantown Academy controlled most of Thursday’s PAISAA playoff matchup with Hill School it was a bit surprising that the game was still in doubt in the match’s final 10 minutes.
Senior captain Brynn Skelly was finally able to get on the end of one and break the scoreless tie with 7:55 remaining. Skelly’s goal stood as the winning tally as the Patriots held on for the 1-0 win.
“I thought in the final third we just couldn’t find an open look,” GA coach Chris Nelson said. “We weren’t decisive enough in that final third and when they were decisive (Hill) either did a nice job or it took a weird bounce. I honestly felt like the one good look we got at the goal, Brynn scored and that was great.”
The Patriots came out firing, narrowly missing a couple of opportunities early in the contest. The good looks early in the game could have been a bit detrimental, as it seemed like GA was looking for only near perfect looks.
“I think we were inconsistent in our mental game,” Nelson said. “I did feel like that first 10 maybe 15 minutes we were really at it. Whether we thought we were going to get those all day and not have to work as hard or whether Hill stepped up their game and we settled in a little bit, I felt like the back end of the first half and certainly the first half of the second half we just didn’t have that level of mental engagement.”
GA did a good job early on getting some runs through the midfield to set up its offense. An adjustment by Hill in the midfield, choosing to pressure the ball more, threw GA off its game a little bit as it tried to figure out how to counter.
On the back end, the Patriots were solid defensively. The defense never gave up any real threatening looks to Hill as they limited Hill to only seven shots for the game.
“I thought we were really well organized today,” Nelson said. “We saw them earlier in the season and we had the sense to look out for (Hannah Delahaye). We had a sense that she was the most dangerous player on the field so we talked yesterday about making sure we tracked her.”
GA’s season has been mired with inconsistent play and injuries however the Patriots find themselves in the second round of the PAISAA playoffs. The road will get tougher for the Patriots when it takes on no.3 Baldwin School in the next round.
“We’re young (and) we’re actually super banged up,” Nelson said. “To our credit, we’ve had kids step up and play really well but we haven’t necessarily had a solid starting 11 for more than two or three games at a pop.”
Top Photo: Germantown Academy’s Nicole Marion and Hill School’s Bri Tyson get tangled as they try to gain possession during their PAISAA first round game on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)