Article By Alex Hardie
End to end action treated the fans to some exciting play as the Dexter-Chelsea rivalry brings out the best in both teams.
With Dexter’s kick-off, an early portion of the game was in the Dog’s defensive half. The early pressure was rewarded when Louisa Judge’s free kick sent into the Chelsea box was headed in by Sammi Corcoran, putting the Dreadnaughts up 1-0 just over 6 minutes into the game.
Dexter’s control of the game continued, but Chelsea weathered the storm and gained more possession as the half continued. Each team did well to move the ball through the half while Dexter relied on some quality long balls that always had the potential to score.
The Bulldogs continued to gain more opportunities as the half wore on and were finally rewarded when the found some space wide in the midfield and scored with 13 minutes left in the first half.
Dexter quickly answered back with another Judge free-kick sent into the box to onto the head of Kylie Cabana and a 2-1 lead less than a minute after Chelsea’s goal.
“Whenever you come back and score a goal after the other team scores is great,” said Dexter Coach Scott Forrester. “You take away any momentum the other team has with their goal and build on it.”
The second half began with good solid play by both teams, but Chelsea seemed to build some good possession off the ball and had more control of the game in the second half than they did in the first.
The noticeable difference for the Dreads was that they were missing the play of midfielder Kianna Marquez. She left the game with 10 minutes left in the first half.
“Kianna developed some sort of reaction that affected her respiratory system and had to be taken to the hospital,” Forrester said. “She is doing well but may miss the next couple of games as a precautionary step.”
Given the challenges of missing forwards Emily Zeitunian and Emma Ripka, along with Marquez, players Bri Pederson, Kayleigh Rogge, Kalista Feight and Reme Crawford did well with their additional playing time to contribute to the team’s win.
Combine that with Louisa Judge, Leah VanderRoest, Lucy Fuller and Cabana, who went the distance without a break, the Dreadnaughts continue to look like the team to beat in Division II MHSAA play.
“There are many individual efforts that went into this win,” Forrester said. “The character of these players is tremendous…looking not to use the absence of team mates as an excuse, but instead to step up to the additional challenges presented in this climb to the top. I’m very proud of this team.”
Dexter continues a second week ranked 6th in the coach’s poll and take their 8-1-1 record on the road to Adrian on Tuesday.