HAVELOCK | The New Bern girls soccer team opened up its season Tuesday night with a 2-1 road win over the Havelock Rams.
New Bern was in control from the opening whistle, dominating possession and consistently controlling the ball in Havelock territory.
The Bears played ball after ball into space, setting themselves up with numerous shots on goal.
New Bern had nine shots in the first half.
“We started out like gangbusters, all over the place. We couldn’t find the back of the net,” said New Bern coach Tim Guter.
Despite the chances, Havelock held strong on defense.
New Bern's Elise Tuzo beat the keeper deep inside the box, putting up a shot on goal, before Rams' defender Lillian DeLuca swooped in to prevent the goal.
A routine Bears' pass back to the keeper gone awry led to Havelock’s Jacqulyn Archer having the ball on her foot right in front of New Bern’s goal.
Archer easily finished the chance, giving the Rams a 1-0 lead at the 18’ mark.
“We’re still trying to figure out who is going to work best in what areas. We have one striker with speed, and the others we hope can really help her,” said Havelock coach Amy McCutcheon.
The Bears continued to struggle to gather balls played to no one in particular, unable to get a touch on any balls in space.
Havelock took the 1-0 lead into the half.
The Rams came into the second half packing it in on defense, leaving just two strikers high.
New Bern regathered itself after the break, and was able to work some of the skills expected of this experienced team coming into the year.
Meghan Guter scored the equalizer for the Bears shortly into the second half.
Guter took possession near the wing, swiftly cutting inside before ripping a shot from the top, finding the lower left corner of the net.
After giving up the early goal, the Bears defense played with more physicality on defense, locking up the limited attacks by Havelock.
Anchored by Hannah Smith, Madison Gaskins, and Patricia Dixon, New Bern would remain stout on defense for the remainder of the game.
Meghan Guter, a freshman, would get her second goal of the night at the 60’.
This time, Guter found room to work on the left side from her midfield position, finishing a possession by the Bears, sneaking one past the Rams' keeper.
“Second half, we changed our formation a little bit. We’ve got a lot to work on. This sort of magnified some of the issues we’re having,” said Tim Guter.
After the early deficit, New Bern was able to breathe after the go ahead goal.
The Bears held strong on defense, withstanding a final barrage from the Rams.
New Bern would hold on to win 2-1.
“We have one senior on the field, everyone else is mostly sophomores. I’m proud of them. We fought hard until the end. A few things to continue to work on, but I am proud of them,” said McCutcheon.
“We’re not as deep. But we’re getting there. Kathryn Dixon was real good for us last year, she and our other forwards need to do a lot more in front of the goal for us,” said Tim Guter.
New Bern (1-0) will participate in the Battle at the Beach this weekend, where they will face Ashley and Hunt.
Havelock (0-1) will also participate in the tournament in Jacksonville, and will match up against Washington and North Raleigh Christian Academy.
Saves: New Bern - Mia Dziwanowski (4), Havelock: Ethel Colantoni (1). Goals: New Bern - Meghan Guter (2) Havelock - Jacqulyn Archer (1). Shots: New Bern - 16, Havelock - 5.