September 6, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
A good defensive effort fell short for the Melrose Area girls soccer team in a 3-0 loss to Princeton Aug. 29 at Melrose Area High School in Melrose.
Following an early goal by Princeton, the Lady Dutchmen defended the net for the remainder of the half. Goalie Pamela Martinez Montanez had 16 stops in the contest. Tia Primus stopped five other shots. More than once, the goalies made diving stops on Princeton attacks.
Princeton used its size and range to keep the Lady Dutchmen pinned in their defensive zone. Melrose’s zone, for the most part, helped it clear the ball away from the goal area.
Melrose’s best moment came with about three minutes left in the half. Martinez Montanez stopped a strong kick, only to see the ball rebound away. The defense, playing on the goal line, managed to get to the ball and take it away from Princeton.
The Lady Dutchmen had a chance at a goal midway through the first half but lost control of the dribble, allowing the Princeton goalie to stop the attempt.
Melrose worked the ball to the net at times but almost always faced at least one defender and the goalie.
Megan Martinez led the Lady Dutchmen offensive effort with three shots on goal. Natalie Ambriz Botello added two more, and Kendra Orozco Martinez worked her way free for one shot on goal.