Return to Rivalry: Titans shutout Trojans 3-0 in first meeting since 2019 | Sports
TRAVERSE CITY – First year head coach Savannah Wojtanowski did not have the full number of players when Traverse City West met for the first time this season.
The late start of spring sports and a late end to the titans’ basketball program left Wojtanowski a few holes in their offensive. Juniors Ally Jo McKenna and Quinn Disbrow got on the team late after playing basketball this winter and helped to even out the Titans’ attack.
McKenna and Disbrow each scored one goal in the first half of a 3-0 win over Big North Conference rivals Traverse City Central at TC West on Tuesday night.
Amelia Blume, junior colleague, scored the third goal with just over 25 minutes of playing time to bring TC West to 2-0 in the BNC game.
“It was fantastic because Quinn (Disbrow) usually plays defense for us so we can turn her into midfield and then Ally Jo (McKenna) can play between striker and midfield,” said Wojtanowski. “Our team is super deep and I’m super proud of the girls that they change positions in no time and we change formations in no time.”
Changing the way these two teams play became an issue on Tuesday as both the Titans and Trojans threw various attacks and defensive formations at their opponent throughout the night.
TC Central head coach Charlie Needham said he tried experimenting with new formations on offense and defense to help his new athletes but his team got some lumps on Tuesday.
“I’ve tried to risk some changes and things with information in practice and we can see from the first half that it didn’t prove fruitful,” Needham said. “I will definitely take it upon myself. In the end, we took some risks, we wanted to try a few things while it was still pretty early in the season. I think we had to try to get our feet under us. “
It took about 20 minutes for both teams to start an offensive flow. The Titans began to find their crotch when McKenna took a spinning kick from just outside the box after finding the ball on her feet due to a distraction. McKenna found the lower right corner of the net over the outstretched hands of TCC keeper Annie Ferguson as she jumped to the ground at 19:26 to play in the first half.
“It takes time before we get into the game sometimes,” said Disbrow. “We’re definitely working on relying a lot more on each other. With Jaelyn (Dobrowolski) we would just bring it to her and repeat it. We work together a lot more as a team, which I think is a great thing just to gain that trust. “
Disbrow added her own goal 12 minutes later after a rebounding corner kick she found about 40 feet in the corner at her feet, which she cornered for an unassisted goal. The Titans took a 2-0 lead at halftime and stayed in defense after the break.
“I think that has puzzled a lot of the teams we’ve played so far as traditionally at high school you see a lot more glittering defenses with a lot more people hot on the heels,” said Wojtanowski. “We are more of a compact unit that nests and counters. I think it’s a big focus for us, we can contain the ball and own it from our back instead of just playing directly. “
Every Titan player on the varsity list saw playtime in the first rivalry game between these schools in nearly two years. Wojtanowski said the depth of her team is a strong suit this year, and the fact that she can trust everyone on her squad to play in such a big place speaks for her serenity.
Each of these teams lost successful goalscorers two seasons ago and were looking for new faces to generate offensive firepower. Blume and McKenna have been uplifting all season, and Blumen’s defensive gate showed dexterity on multiple levels for the Titans. Blumen’s goal was supported by Lila Warren.
The shutout marks Emily Bohrer’s third win of the season and brings the Titans to 3-1-2.
Needham said he plans to raise expectations in the field to bring out more gear on his team. The Trojans drop to 2-4-1 in the season and 0-2 in the BNC game.
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