Dixon Paces Falcons Past Eagles in Soccer
The O’Neal girls’ soccer team handed perennial state powerhouse Fayetteville Academy a 3-1 defeat on a blistering hot Tuesday at Mauser Field.
The Lady Falcons, a team that has won seven out of its last eight matches, got a hat trick from Mary Dixon in knocking off the Eagles, ranked third in the state for 2-A private schools by EuroSportscoreboard.com. O’Neal is the state’s sixth ranked 2-A team.
The Falcons opened the Cape Fear Independent Conference game a bit out of sync on the hot day. Fayetteville Academy had a few early opportunities that the O’Neal defense, led by center backs Alessasndra Tozzi and Madelyn Davis, hustled to deny goals from the visitors.
As the half progressed, O’Neal found a much better groove, pressuring the Eagles’ goal on numerous occasions and holding possession the last 15 minutes of the half. With solid defensive efforts from both squads, the half ended in a 0-0 tie.
The Falcons were reminded at halftime that the game would come down to which team worked harder in the second half, according to coach Ted Hassenfelt.
Both teams were suffering from the heat, but O’Neal came out on fire when a Fayetteville Academy corner kick led to a Falcon breakaway in the 46th minute. Rebecca Frye played a ball past the Eagle sweeper at the half line, and Dixon did the rest. Dixon separated from the Eagle defense and deposited the ball past the Eagle keeper on the far post.
The match continued at a back-and-forth pace until Fayetteville Academy finished a corner kick past keeper Alex Quevedo to tie the game at 1-1 in the 71st minute.
The Falcons showed their grit and determination, though, and two minutes later, in the 73rd minute, Dixon was served a ball at the six-yard line and beat the defender to the ball. She popped the ball in the air, then rifled a shot past the Eagle keeper to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead.
The Eagles put the pressure on the last seven minutes of the game, but Dixon completed the hat trick in the 77th minute when her corner kick deflected off an Eagle player for a 3-1 Falcon lead with three minutes to play.
The hat trick added to Dixon’s goal-scoring bonanza, making it 16 goals over the past five games.
As the Eagles poured on more pressure, pushing numbers forward, an Eagle attacker got in behind the Falcon defense. Keeper Alex Quevedo made a stellar breakaway save that allowed the Falcons to preserve the 3-1 victory.
With the win, the Falcons moved to 11-3-1 (5-3 conference) on the season and Fayetteville Academy dropped to 9-4-3 (7-1-1). The Falcons resume play today away at Village Christian.
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