North and Memorial had played once during the regular season, a game the T-Wolves claimed 3-2 in double overtime. Comparatively, this was a breeze.
The game’s first chance belonged to Bulldog forward Laramie Hall, who created her own opportunity in the North end. Still, hounded by North defenders, she got little on her shot and Newman easily stopped it.
The next chance belonged to the T-Wolves and appeared thwarted when Francesca Ryan wound up on an outside-the-box right-footed crank only to whip the ball into the back of a Memorial defender, before it bounced across the box.
“I anticipated it going all the way through, because that seems to happen a lot, and I saw it having backspin and I knew that these opportunities don’t come that often,” Carroll said. “I just took hold of it and stayed composed and placed it in the corner where she couldn’t reach it.”
It was fortuitous bounce, but Carroll had the presence to be ready. Glenn had no chance to stop it and the T-Wolves were on their way.
“I knew that once I scored,” Carroll said, “we would take off from there.”
The game was only 4 1/2 minutes old.
It took a while to get to 2-0, but that was due to Glenn’s heroics. When Carroll’s corner found Livingston’s noggin with 30:25 remaining, it was pretty much over.
The few times Memorial attempted to counter, North’s back line of Bri Kuestersteffen, Simone Ryan, Yazmeen Ryan and Rachel Gipson would snuff it out before it became a real threat.
“We have really good chemistry together,” Kuestersteffen said.
They did Friday.
The players, after beginning their postseason run with a 5-0 whitewashing of Southmoore, attributed their improved game to a talk coach Don Rother had with them the day before in practice, one that included themes like opportunity and focus.