BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath is showing its is a team that knows how to score goals and Bluffton is a team that wants to develop into one after the Wildcats stopped the Pirates, 3-0, in non conference action Saturday.
Bath improves to 2-0 on the season. Bluffton falls to 0-2.
Bath head coach Brooke Herr said she likes how the team has opened the season. The Wildcats garnered a 2-1 over Liberty-Benton in their season opener last week.
“We are really proud of how we have come out these first two games,” Herr said. “We are a lot more possession based and patient based and still able to attack very quickly and that has kind of what we have been working on the offseason so I am super proud of these two wins against good teams.”
Bath’s Chandler Clark, who has a nose for putting the ball in the back of the net, scored two of the Wildcats’ three goals. The Grand Valley State University commit scored her first goal a little more than 10 minutes into the match when she received a long pass over the top and simply beat her defender to the ball and rifled it into the left corner of the net.
Clark’s scoring talent was on full display on her second score when the senior standout, flanked by two defenders, twisted and turned her way past one Pirate and then shook off the second Pirate inside the box to break free and fire one past Bluffton goalie Julie Mehaffie with a little under two minutes left in the second half.
Bath’s Alexis Hammons provided the third score when she shot one from the left side of the goal passed the outstretched hands of Mehaffie six minutes into the second half. Mehaffie had six saves on the day.
Bath had 14 shots on goal and Bluffton had six.
“I thought we attacked well,” Herr said. “We picked our moments. They had three in the middle as well and our mids had to work extremely hard and sometimes we would transition right from the back so quickly that we didn’t have trailers there so our forwards like Chandler and Rachel (Clark) did a good job of picking their moments.”
Not to be overlooked was Bath’s defensive efforts anchored by Makenna Hale. The senior captain, with the aid of her fellow teammates, continually thwarted Bluffton forays in Bath territory, providing a relative easy day for Wildcat keeper Madelyn Renner. The senior goalie was tested a few times but nothing of major significance.
Renner recorded two saves.
Bluffton head coach Jared Byers said his team is looking to find its scoring touch.
“We are struggling to find goals right now but we are playing good team defense, and we have played them fairly strong. We have to find our team offense to put some in the back of the neck. We just have to find that last pass. We have to find that last pass that is going to get us into that backfield and give us an opportunity to get us a shot. We have to have an opportunity to get more shots and some girls need to step up and take that challenge on and get more shots on goal.”
Byers added that the solid defensive effort was there but knows stopping Clark is a tough task.
“We marked her, and I think Bella Basinger did a good job of marking her up in the backfield,” Byers said. “Bath and us both played a physical, clean game, and the officials kept it in check, and I think we played a solid game.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.