MALONE — Ogdensburg Free Academy’s offense slowly ramped up over the course of the Malone girls soccer home opener on Friday.
Two goals within the first seven minutes were enough to lift the Huskies over the Blue Devils, 2-1, though it soon became mostly a defensive effort before halftime.
Just over a minute into the contest, Ryleigh McCauley fed a pass to Brooke Pritchard, who skirted up the middle of the box and tucked it to the left post for the first score of the season.
“It felt pretty good,” Pritchard said. “Really exciting until I got hurt.”
Pritchard was sidelined after an injury, but helped Malone keep control of the midfield early on. The Huskies often outpaced Ogdensburg and created good offensive looks.
McCauley soon capitalized on one of them, finding the back of the net five minutes after the first score to bolster a 2-0 lead.
“I think we came out ready to go (in) the first half,” Malone coach Terry Collins said. “The second we came in a little flat.”
The Blue Devils outshot the Huskies 10-3 in the second frame. Ogdensburg took back the midfield and kept Malone pressed on the left wing.
“This is the first game we’ve actually had to play together and I have a lot of new players this year, so (we’re) still trying to figure out what works cohesively together and what doesn’t,” Collins said.
“We’ll work out the glitches as time goes on, and I did get a chance for everybody to play because of (us) wearing masks.”
Madison Ansari (10 saves) threw herself down on the right to stop an incoming ball with just under 19 minutes left. It was deflected off to the side, but Brinley Frederick struck it into the middle of the net to cut the deficit in half for the Blue Devils.
Ansari found herself dropping again in time to stop a shot that met the goal line, preventing a tie game.
Ogdensburg kept putting together offensive drives toward the net, but none were successful beyond Frederick’s cleanup goal.
Collins attributed Ansari’s versatility across multiple positions to her success as a goaltender.
“She actually is an outstanding goalie — that’s not one of her favorite positions. But she was placed there last year because we didn’t have one,” Collins said. “And really, she’s an excellent field player too, but she does a phenomenal job in goalie, so I have to give her credit because she’s saved us in a lot of games.”
Strong defensive efforts on top of Ansari’s goaltending were enough to hold off Ogdensburg, though the Huskies are still a work in progress without the preseason.
“We don’t have a lot of continuity yet until we get more practice,” Collins said. “So, it was a learning game for all of us, but I think we have some work to do still.”