Durham County

Bulldogs stressing defense during winning streak

Durham School of the Arts' Nona Borden (15) fights for the ball with Karrington Blackmon (1) and Taylor Epps of Roanoke Rapids in a girls' soccer match on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at DSA.
Durham School of the Arts' Nona Borden (15) fights for the ball with Karrington Blackmon (1) and Taylor Epps of Roanoke Rapids in a girls' soccer match on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at DSA.

Another strong defensive effort at home from Durham School of the Arts girls soccer club led them to a 5-0 victory Wednesday night against Roanoke Rapids.

The Bulldogs are now 9-1 on the season. They’ve achieved this mark thanks in large part to their stout defense. In ten games on the year, the Bulldogs have given up just eight goals. This includes only three goals allowed in their last five games.

“They’ve been solid,” said head coach Amy Green. “We have a lot of senior leaders in the back.”

That leadership starts with senior goalkeeper Margaret Hunt.

“I just have to get them into the right spots, making sure they know who they have to mark up, and give them that confidence that they need,” said Hunt. “I have a lot of confidence with them. If they can get it out of the back, and I don’t have a lot of save, then I’m happy with it.”

On Wednesday, Hunt didn’t have to do too much work, only seeing two shots throughout the 80-minute game. She knows that when she sees less, it’s likely due to the fact that her team is playing strong in front of her.

“If I don’t get shots, that means we’re winning and I don’t have to worry as much,” said Hunt.

While Hunt didn’t have much work against Roanoke Rapids, Green still praised her following the game, saying, “I can’t say enough about my senior goalkeeper. She’s been a wall for us.”

The lone blemish on the Bulldogs record came courtesy of Science & Math. The Unicorns defeated DSA 2-1 at home earlier this month. The two teams meet again at DSA on Monday, and while Green didn’t say her team would be out for revenge, she is optimistic that the result will be different.

“That game was early for us in our season,” said Green. “We are young. That game was before we played a lot of games together. I feel like we’re more cohesive now.”

Hunt echoed her coaches sentiments saying, “we’re a better and more cohesive team. We definitely know who to look out for and how to set up our defense. And I know who to look out for with their shots.”

Playing at home could be a deciding factor for the Bulldogs. They are 4-0 at home this season and have outscored opponents 19-2 in those games.

“The atmosphere makes a difference,” said Hunt. “Our home support is bigger and the crowd is more excited because we are more student based.”

“It’s always great to play and win at home,” said Green. “The travel doesn’t bother us, I think that’s a bonding experience for the girls, but we have a lot of pride on our field and about our school, and I think we translate that into playing at home.”

School of Arts will have one more home game prior to Monday’s showdown against NCSSM, as they host Granville Central on Friday.

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