Kauffman’s strong game not enough for Bulldogs

LEWISBURG — Hannah Kauffman never got any sort of chance to relax in goal or take a quick breather. Just about anytime she looked up, a Lewisburg player had the ball in Jersey Shore’s end of the field and was about to take a shot.

Lewisburg was firing shots about seemingly as fast as the rain was falling. Even so, Kauffman never backed down from the challenge of blocking the Green Dragons’ shots.

Shot after shot was fired at her and Kauffman did everything she could to keep it out of the back of the net and despite playing just about as excellent as you could in goal, it wasn’t quite enough. Lewisburg scored a goal in each half to defeat Jersey Shore at home, 2-0, Monday. Only one of those goals came against Kauffman, however, as she moved from goalie to forward with about 10 minutes to play.

“I couldn’t believe what I was watching because she’s a good goalkeeper obviously, but she made at least two or three saves like, ‘Are you kidding me? How is that possible?'” Lewisburg coach Jose Vega said. “She was outstanding, best player of the game by far. But we put two in and that’s what counts. We’ll take the win and we’ll build on that.”

The Green Dragons fired 20 shots on goal Monday — 10 in each half — and controlled the majority of the game, yielding only two Jersey Shore shots on goal, both of which came very late in the second half.

Kauffman made numerous excellent diving stops and, in the first half, managed to jump and get her fingertips on a deep shot from Grace Rosevear to prevent her from slipping it just under the crossbar.

“I think it encourages my team also. It really gets us one step forward and pumped up for next play and really puts us ahead,” Kauffman said.

“She is what she is. She just knows how to play the position … but if she can keep doing those things and we can get a little bit tougher in the middle defensively, we’ll be in good shape,” Jersey Shore first-year coach Darrin Bischof said.

Despite Kauffman’s best efforts in goal, Lewisburg scored with 21:27 to play in the first half to break the scoreless tie. From just outside of the 18, Madison Cardello crossed a ball to the left and found the feet of Allison Reed, who buried an excellent shot to the far post for the 1-0 lead.

“We played well. We had a lot of chances, shots on goal,” Vega said. “We dictated the pace of the game the whole game.”

The Green Dragons slipped in a second goal late with 78 seconds remaining. Ella Reish fed a throughball to Taryn Beers, who dribbled inside the 18 and rifled a shot to her right for the 2-0 lead.

Lewisburg rarely let Jersey Shore get an offensive push until late in the second half when Kauffman moved to forward to try to spark the Bulldogs’ offense. But the Green Dragons didn’t let Jersey Shore get any easy chances and held the Bulldogs to only two shots on goal and four total shots.

“We controlled it from the defense all the way up. … Our defense did a great job anticipating the passes. First half we played really well. We were very comfortable. Second half, when you’re losing 1-0, you got to throw everything up and go for broke, but we controlled it and the whole defense was comfortable.”

Lewisburg nearly made it a 2-0 game in the first half with 11:01 to play. Lining up for a free kick from just outside of the 18-yard box, Reish placed a perfect shot toward the left post, but a whistle just before she fired the shot and would-be goal negated it as a Jersey Shore player received a yellow card.

Rosevear drilled a shot from 25 yards deep that she nearly slipped under the crossbar in the closing seconds of the first half, but Kauffman managed to tip it backwards and out of harm’s way. Two more perfect blocks and dives from Kauffman prevented Rosevear and Sarah Ayers from scoring early in the second half.

“That gets us to 3-3-1. We needed a win desperately. We have toughest schedule coming up with two or three games,” Vega said.

Lewisburg 2,

Jersey Shore 0

L–Allison Reed (Madison Cardello), 21:27. L–Taryn Beers (Ella Reish), 1:18.

Shots: JS 2, L 20. Corners: JS 0, L 2. Saves: JS 18 (Hannah Kauffman 15, Harmony Waxmunsky 3), L 2 (Lauren Gross).

Records: Jersey Shore (1-3), Lewisburg (3-3-1).