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North girls soccer power back after break

January 15, 2020
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers High School girls soccer team started its season the way it usually does by winning its first five games by a combined 33-4.

However, injuries and overall poor play hit the Red Knights, and they promptly went winless in their next four, including two ties before the winter break.

And with tough games with Ida Baker and Mariner on deck for this past week, it was very possible North could have extended one of its longest skids in years and brought real questions about whether North could advance to its fifth straight regional final.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers High School soccer player Makenzy Dupree maneuvers past a defender during North’s game against Ida Baker on Wednesday.


North scored early and often in its home game against Baker, though, then held on following a wild start to take a 3-1 victory to end the slide and improve to 6-2-2 on the year.

If you missed the first 20 minutes, you essentially missed the game as all the goals were scored and all the North goals were essentially the same, with Makenzy Dupree passing the ball and Michelle Horan putting the ball in the back of the net.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Kayla Flagg allowed only one goal from Adrienne Wood and allowed the defense in the second half to collapse in and form a wall to prevent the Bulldogs from getting close.

North coach Nick Erickson said it was a relief to earn its first win in more than a month.

"We've had more ups and downs this year more than we're accustomed but it was nice to get a win," Erickson said. "During that slump, we just didn't play well. We let one slip away (a 3-2 loss to Barron Collier) and we didn't play well at all against Canterbury (a 9-1 loss). It happens. Teams outplayed us."

It also hasn't helped that senior top scorer Emily Hauser had missed the last five games due to injury. Hauser, who had 15 goals and nine assists before going down, left the team with a huge hole in its offense.

Horan, a sophomore, has taken up the slack. Her hat trick Tuesday gave her the team lead in goals with 16. Dupree, who assisted on all three goals, has the team lead in that category with 10.

Horan and Dupree said they felt as though they were returning to normal.

"I felt like we got our groove back and we really worked together again. It led to the goals," Horan said. "We all tried our best to get out of that rut so we can go into the new year with better outcomes."

"My focus is to pass because I'm better with the ball at my feet. But sometimes the opportunities are there so I take them," Dupree said. "The last few games haven't been that good, so to get three goals really quick was exciting."

North then went out on Friday and blew out rival Mariner 5-0 on the road. Horan had another hat trick and Dupree found the net twice.



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