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Marysville Tomahawks soccer opens season with win
MONROE — At times, a soccer match can get too physical.
And the Lady Tomahawks capitalized on that fact in defeating Monroe, 1-0, Sept. 9.
“We got the first one out of the way, and that’s nice,” said Marysville-Pilchuck manager Gary Riozzi.
Not only was it the Tommies’ first win of the season, but it was also the team’s first Wesco North victory as they jumped right into league play against the Bearcats, who were picked to finish near the top of the league.
None of that seemed to matter to Riozzi’s girls, as they rode a manic style of possession to victory.
With shot opportunities in short supply, the Tommies used all of the field and kept possession more than they lost it while working to develop scoring chances. But with match-opening jitters, the Tommies started out passing the ball faster than their teammates moved.
“We were a bit nervous in the beginning, but we settled down sometime before halftime and started moving the ball,” Riozzi said.
M-P had to maintain a healthy balance of working the ball quickly without overextending due to strong Monroe attackers Kayla Browne and Lindsay Dye.
“They are very talented players and they gave us some trouble with their speed, until we started pressuring them more to force mistakes,” Riozzi said.
The score was tied 0-0 at halftime with Marysville owning a 4-1 advantage in shots, but the Tommies didn’t score until a penalty kick was called in the 45th minute.
Senior forward Madison Schoonover tried to fight off four Monroe defenders in the penalty area, getting knocked down twice before a foul was called about near the end line about halfway between the goal and the corner of the field.
“Maddy did her job,” said Riozzi. “She was composed the whole time, even though she was under a lot of pressure and taking a lot of contact.”
Finishing off the penalty kick was sophomore midfielder Rebecca Lentz, whose low strike beat Bearcats keeper Dani Philippart.
Earning a shutout is difficult enough, but one against a strong Monroe attack took collaboration between the M-P backline and goal keeper Lauren Schoonover, who racked up six saves.
Marysville-Pilchuck continues conference play at home versus Arlington Sept. 16.