Appel's late tally seals it for Mepham
Better late than never.
After seven Mepham shots on goal through 71 minutes of play, something had to give.
Ashley Appel scored the game's only goal with nine minutes remaining to give Mepham a very tightly contested 1-0 win over Oceanside.
The senior captain one-timed a cross-field pass frmo freshman Erin Gilroy right near the end line and fired it past a diving Oceanside keeper, Emily Doherty to give her Pirates the precious lead.
"Erin, she’s one of our main players, whenever she gets the ball she’s always doing something good with it," Appel said following the game. "She just passed it over to me and I tucked it in."
It was the second meeting of the season between both squads. The two teams met in the season opener with the Pirates coming on top 3-2. Naturally, scoring chances were at a premium Monday night.
Oceanside had the first serious scoring threat of the night with nine minutes left in the first half. Jules Sicker sent a through-ball twoards the Mepham net and goaltender Nadine Simpson. The Pirates keeper challenged the ball before Rachel Blackley got to it and took a hard hit in the section at the top of the box.
Four minutes later, Blackley would test Simpson again to see if she showed signs of injury. Blackley darted down the right side of the field and fired a shot ten yards away into Simpson's breadbasket to keep the Sailors off the board.
Simpson had two saves in the first half, and added another one in the second stanza for the shutout.
From there on in, it would be all Mepham as the field would seem to tilt the Pirates way.
Mepham defenseman Emily Schmitt had two free kicks within the first 20 minutes of the second half, the latter of which had to be punched out by Doherty in what would be Mepham's best scoring opportunity prior to Appel's tally.
"Once we’re all together we just play our game," Appel said. "Emily Schmitt is very good in the back, she controls everyone."
Appel would score the game's only goal ten minutes after Schmitt's second free kick. Mepham held Oceanside in check for the final nine minutes to seal the victory.