Deeley’s three goals power Boardman

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It’s the first part of showmanship a magician learns. The art of misdirection can make or break a trick.

Anna Deeley looked like a master in the art in leading the Boardman girls soccer team past Ursuline, 7-0, in a lightning-shortened contest at Youngstown State’s Farmers National Bank Field.

Deeley struck for a pair of goals from more than 30 yards out and added a third on a penalty kick for the Spartans (4-1).

“I think [Ursuline] had trouble reading our formation,” Boardman coach Agni Cvercko said. We were heavy in the center and they had a hard time covering the center, which allowed Anna to get open. We also moved the ball quickly in there.”

That doesn’t paint the entire picture, however, for the Boardman offense. The Spartans would take the ball wide and use little give-and-go actions drawing the Fighting Irish defenders to the perimeter before crossing the ball back into the open space in the middle of the field.

“We were pulling them out, then cutting back in, making those runs,” Cvercko said. “We want to move the ball quickly in and out. We want to move the ball with very little touches in and out. The game is quicker that way.”

Twice, Deeley capitalized for goals. The first from 35 yards out for a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute of the first half and the second from just more than 30 yards for a 2-0 advantage in the 23rd minute.

“I just saw an open space in the middle of the field,” Deeley said. “I didn’t have a lot of pressure on me. My teammates set me up for the shot and the keeper was off her line. It’s something I do. I go up to the field and work on shots from outside the box because I don’t get a lot of opportunities in the box because of my position. A lot of the strategy is to spread your team out. A lot of the time, that spreads (the defense) out, too. They’re trying to decide who to pick up and where to pick them up. It makes it hard for the defense to get its numbers up.”

Ashley Harding capitalized on the same trick with an assist from Isabella Alvarico from 18 yards away to put Boardman in front, 3-0, in the 27th minute of the half.

“Sometimes, it’s very frustrating for them [to go down early],” Ursuline coach Roy Schmidt said. “Tonight, it was a little bit. We had the opportunity at the first water break and again at the half to talk about it. Apparently, they went out and played the second half. They went hard in the second half. I can’t ask anything more from a group of girls than that.”

Once the Ursuline (1-3) defenders caught on a bit, the Spartans went right at the goalkeeper.

Deeley scored on a penalty kick in the 28th minute of the first half and Harding was credited with a goal as she tried to drive right up the center of the field and an Ursuline defender played the back toward what she thought was her goalkeeper but ended up being an open net for 5-0 lead with 5:07 remaining in the first half.

Alvarico made it 6-0 after fending off two fighting Irish defenders and beating the keeper with 42 seconds to play in the half.

“We have a ton of youth that hasn’t played soccer,” Schmidt said. “We’re trying to put them in position. They’re a young team and they’re growing. I’m not taking anything away from what Boardman did. They owned the center of the field.”

Serene Khatib had the final tally for the Spartans when she beat the goalkeeper one-on-one midway through the second half. The game was halted three minutes later when lightning was spotted.

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