NORTH ADAMS -- For the first half, it looked as if the Hoosac Valley girls' soccer team was playing its second game of the year, not its first. Drury looked like it was playing its first, not its second.
The Hurricanes played smooth, while the Blue Devils played unorganized. It paid off for the Hurricanes just 4 minutes, 31 seconds into the game. Marissa Felter accepted a pass from Madi Ryan in Drury's defensive third, and a miscommunication left her all alone at the top of the 18-yard box. She took a quick touch and banked her shot off the left post for a quick 1-0 lead. That was all Hoosac needed in a 2-0 win over rival Drury.
"Great season opener. I'm thrilled," Hoosac coach Blair Mahar said. "Solid start against our rival Drury, and we see them again."
Hoosac continued to control play for the rest of the first half, and Meg Rodowicz nearly doubled the lead midway through but couldn't put a foot on the ball with a wide-open net.
Meanwhile, Drury struggled to play "possession soccer." The Blue Devils panicked with the ball and simply booted the ball up the field, a stark contrast to their nice corner balls they played over and over in their opener against Monument Mountain.
"We were totally in nap mode," Drury coach Molly Meczywor said. I just think it took us a little while to wake up, which was so surprising because when we played Monument, we came off the bus and we were fired up, we ready to go. You would
The Blue Devils turned the table on the Hurricanes in the second half and pinned them in their own half for the better part of 20 minutes, but the defense, led by Jen Gale and Courtney Hayer, and keeper Megan Richardson stood tall.
Gale, the stopper, was everywhere and looked like a seasoned defender, not a first-year. Hayer, the sweeper, ran down loose balls behind the defense and shut down scoring angles. Richardson was ready when she was needed.
"We just tried to stay calm," said Gale, who used to play in the midfield. "We tried to pull back and just keep moving forward and keep playing our game."
Meg Rodowicz added some late insurance for Hoosac with a beautifully-placed left-footed shot into the upper-left corner from the touch line.
"It's funny to say that the South is on the line your first game, but it is," Mahar said. "The south comes down to these games we play, and so if we want to be competitive in the South, we have to win these games."
To reach Josh Colligan, email