ERMA – Out of necessity, Tayannis Torres is playing out of position for the Lower Cape May Regional girls soccer team this season.
“Tayannis is taking one for the team by playing sweeper,” Lower coach Brett Matthews said. “She’s a much better center midfielder. But she’s so good at sweeper. She really locks it down.
“She’s touching the ball less but when she does it really matters. And then when she gets her chances she makes the most of them.”
She did just that on Tuesday in a game played under the lights against her team’s biggest rival.
Torres, in the penalty area for an offensive corner kick, found the ball at her feet eight yards from goal after a couple of odd bounces with 18 minutes remaining in the match against Middle Township. The senior didn’t miss from there, chipping the ball inside the right post for the game-winner in a 2-1 Lower Cape May victory.
“It’s great to see her score such a clutch goal,” Matthews said.
For Lower Cape May (3-7), the victory avenged an overtime loss to Middle Township (4-7 earlier this season.
It came in comeback fashion.
Kira Sides scored to give Middle the advantage only nine minutes into the contest. The Lady Panthers went on to control much of the rest of the first half. At one point, Middle thought it had scored a second goal, but the officials ruled that a crossing pass that started the play grazed off a post above the crossbar that was out of bounds.
Lower equalized two minutes before the interval when Jo Jo Gibson’s cross was finished by Taylor Magill.
“Middle came out and wanted it more than us in the first half,” Matthews said. “It was our senior night but we came out flat. We weren’t quick to the ball and we were losing a lot of 50-50 balls. We weren’t ready to play, which was shocking.
“But then I thought we played better the last 10 minutes of the half and obviously scoring so late in the half helped with the momentum.”
“Then we played much better in the second half. We changed nothing fundamentally. I think we just played harder. We really needed this. We’ve lost so many close games this year.”
Middle, which started eight freshmen and sophomores in the match, had a couple of chances late to draw level but couldn’t find the goal.
“We stopped making the simple plays,” Middle coach Bob Wishart said. “In the first half, we made the simple pass and we were patient when we got our opportunities to move forward. In the second half we were trying to jam it down their throats and it wasn’t working. That’s what happens sometimes when you have a young team.”
— Brian Cunniff