PORTLAND – Kevin Olson, the Deering High girls’ soccer coach, noticed early in preseason practice the velocity of freshman Alexis Elowitch’s shot.

“Alexis has a cannon for a shot,” said Olson.

Late in the first half Wednesday, Elowitch’s cannon hit the right post and caromed into the goal. Elowitch’s score and strong pressure in the second half carried Deering to a 1-0 victory against McAuley in an SMAA game at Memorial Field.

A second straight win should bring some valuable Heal points for the Rams (5-3).

“It was a very good win,” said Olson. “We’ve had some ups and downs in the season. Starting out we had a pattern of winning one, losing one. This should give us some confidence against a very talented team.

“We played hard and did a good job of controlling the pace of the game by possessing the ball. McAuley put some good pressure on us. Our goalie, Jen Lynch, stayed composed and was in good position to make the saves. I thought the key was making McAuley take most of their shots from outside.”

The best early chance for McAuley (4-2-2) was an Olivia Crozier blast that Lynch delected over the crossbar after 11 minutes. Minutes later, Elowitch made a strong move on the end line but couldn’t get the angle. Then Alexis Sivovlos and Aarika Viola of Deering worked a give-and-go that failed to produce.

Three minutes later, Deering had its goal. McAuley goalie Molly Miller got her hand on Elowitch’s shot but couldn’t handle it.

“I got a great ball to my feet,” said Elowitch. “I had one player to beat and aimed for the far post. The far corner is always the toughest save for a goalie. I’ve been working on shooting the ball low and hard.”

The goal ignited the Rams, who controlled the second half.

“This was a huge win,” said Elowitch. “We practiced hard to get ready for this game. After we got the lead the speed of our game picked up. We wanted to keep the pressure up by possessing the ball.”

Eight games into her first season, Elowitch has adjusted.

“It’s going great,” she said. “I love the speed of the game and there’s a lot of talent at the high school level.”

Besides Elowitch’s strong shot, Olson noticed other qualities that have enabled her to have a fast start.

“Alexis is one of the hardest workers on the team,” he said. “She has great speed. She runs the 40 in track.”

In the second half, McAuley had a couple of good chances the Rams stopped. Hannah Cooke of the Lions controlled the ball to the goal mouth but Deering covered quickly. Midway in the half, Allison Bonner put a shot on the post that Lynch stopped.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way we played,” said McAuley Coach Vince Aceto. “We had several girls filling in for players who are injured. They really stepped up.

“In some key situations we probably didn’t have enough girls going up to support our shots. It was a real exciting game.”

Lynch made 12 saves for the Rams. Miller had 11.


Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]