Emma Gervy helps power Chrisman past arch rival Truman

By Michael Smith
The Examiner

Any time Truman and William Chrisman play each other in any sport, it’s an important game.

That importance was amplified in Thursday’s girls soccer contest at Truman given the circumstances of both teams coming in.

The Bears and Patriots came in needing a win. Chrisman was on a four-game losing streak, while Truman entered on a five-game slide. Something had to give for two struggling teams.

It was Bears junior Emma Gervy who was the driving force to getting Chrisman back in the win column, as she tallied two goals in a 4-2 Suburban Middle Six victory over the rival Patriots.

“We had a tough streak of playing some really good teams,” Chrisman coach Justin Schmidt said. “It will be good for us in the long run. We played really well at certain times against those teams; we just didn’t play well for a full 80 minutes.

Gervy said the Bears were “lazy” at times Thursday but did enough to win, playing through balls and passes over the top that led to goals.

“We could have played a little bit better,” Gervy said. “We had some good passes and runs that I scored off once. Then we kind of got lazy toward the end.”

Added Chrisman senior midfielder Raigan Keltner: “We need to learn to hustle more and play the whole 80 minutes.”

Chrisman (5-11, 3-5) had a hard time stopping Truman junior midfielder Laney Smith, who scored the first goal. She received a through ball scored on a breakaway less than two minutes in for a 1-0 lead.

Gervy scored in similar fashion in the 10th minute, when she got behind two Truman defenders and put in a breakaway goal to tie it.

“She’s a really smart player,” Schmidt said of Gervy. “She knows where to be and what angles to take. That was the biggest thing for her today. She did a good job playing out wide and playing that diagonal ball.”

In the 24th minute, Chrisman went up 2-1 on a corner kick from sophomore Cameron Wells, who curved a shot into the goal.

The Bears held that lead into halftime and continued to make long passes and shots count throughout the rest of the game. Keltner scored on a breakaway of her own after receiving a long-range through ball from freshman Aariana Paprocki to extend the Bears’ lead to 3-1 early in the second half.

Smith kept Truman (3-9, 1-7) in it as she got behind the Chrisman defense – again after she started a counter attack following a steal. She put a shot in the upper 90 of the goal to narrow the gap to 3-2.

But Gervy helped the Bears build a two-goal cushion in the 61st minute, when she received another through ball from sophomore midfielder AnnaMarie McDonald. The junior drilled a left-footed shot from the top of the half circle and inside the right post.

“I told her to be patient and wait for me to make that run,” Gervy said of her conversation with McDonald. “It got through and I scored.”

Smith had two more breakaway opportunities late in the game but both of her shots went just wide of the goal. She scored more goals Thursday than the entire Patriots team in the past five games combined.

“We were able to create more opportunities, which is a good thing,” Truman coach Manny Tovar said. “We are showing some progress.

“(Smith) is most of our offense. When we don’t score, it’s because she hasn’t been there. She did a good job overall today. I know sometimes she has back issues, which limits her. But she did good today.”

Schmidt acknowledged that Smith gave his back line fits.

“We’re young in the back, and I know we will pick things up and learn,” Schmidt said. “We have to learn when to drop, how to stop the ball over the top and when to go forward.

“(Smith) didn’t play against us the first time,” Schmidt said. “This was the first time we’ve seen her this year. When they have the ball in the midfield and we don’t pressure the ball, we have to drop and keep it predictable. And when we are flat-footed, she just runs right past us.”