Drury Girls Top Taconic Behind Four Goals from McGrath

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Drury’s Kayla McGrath Friday scored the first of her four goals when her team needed it most: when the game was fewer than five minutes old.
The Blue Devils rode that quick start to a 5-0 win over Taconic on Berkshire Community College’s Gene Dellea Field.
“We’ve had a couple of games where we haven’t started very strong, where we have let in some early goals,” Drury coach Maria Bartini said. “That’s definitely been a focus for us. We made a few tweaks in our warm-up routine to try to have our energy level a little higher right when we start. It’s no fun to start a game where you’re in the hole and then you have to climb out of that.”
Samantha Kogut set up McGrath to give Drury a 1-0 lead at the 4 minute, 18 second mark.
McGrath doubled the lead 11 minutes later with an assist from Alison Felix.
In the second half, McGrath added a pair of goals before Elli Miles put a punctuation mark on the win with help from Julia Albright.
All but one of the Blue Devils’ goals was assisted as Drury showed patience and accuracy in the offensive third throughout.
“We’ve been working on our ball movement and working on being intentional with our first touches, intentional with our movement and finding feet as much as possible instead of just sending long balls over the top,” Bartini said. “We’re trying to play some pretty soccer, the kind of soccer I like to watch.”
Taconic played without its regular keeper, Leeyia Hoose, or its leading scorer, Kendra Buda. But coach Jenna Giardina was pleased with the focus her team showed, especially after going in a hole early.
“Drury played a great game,” Giardina said. “Some of those shots were laser beams. They definitely did a good job finishing.
“[The early goal] definitely hurts, but our team does a pretty good job of not letting goals scored get to them. It hurts when you’re down your goalie and Kendra not playing. ... Mentally, we were strong. But we have to get from going out and giving our best effort to going out and trying to win the game, which is a different level of soccer.”
Giardina also was proud of the performance from Taylar Ostrander, who stepped in for Hoose and made 14 saves.
“That’s why Taylar is a captain,” Giardina said. “Every time I’ve asked her to play defense, outside middie, center middie, forward, goalie — she takes it right on the chin and performs to the best of her ability. I couldn’t be prouder of the way she played today.”
And Bartini could not have been happier with the way her offense was clicking -- the entire offense, not just McGrath.
“The whole team has really come together,” Bartini said. “We’re playing some nice, team-oriented soccer of moving the ball around. Kayla happened to connect with her shots well today. But there were a lot of opportunities for other players to score as well. I feel like we have a pretty well balanced attack.”
Drury (4-5) goes to Lenox on Saturday.
Taconic (3-6) is at Lee on Wednesday.
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