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Lakewood jumps on Sultan early, holds on for victory
The Oct. 4 soccer match between the Lakewood Cougars and Sultan Lady Turks was decided in the first half on two Hayley Bustad goals. The two teams battled to a scoreless standstill in the second half and Lakewood tallied a 2-1 victory.
Lakewood benefited from strong play in the midfield from sophomore Erin Dierickx. The playmaker Dierickx has been setting up the attack all season for the Cougars and against the Lady Turks did more of the same. Five minutes into the game Dierickx took a long ball from Lakin Porter, spun on two defenders, and threaded a well-timed pass ahead to a running Hayley Bustad. Bustad finished low and hard into the lower corner of the net for the games first goal.
Bustad continued her strong play up front when seven minutes later she took a pass from midfielder Becca Bean and nearly put Lakewood further ahead. Her shot from 15 yards sailed just wide of goal as Sultan dodged a bullet.
A minute later sweeper Jeneca Hoidal found herself with a lot of space on the right wing. She carried the ball up front from her defensive position all the way into the right corner of the field and hooked a cross over to a waiting Amanda Nunley on the left side of the penalty area. Nunley juggled the ball to trap it down and then attempted a shot which was deflected back into midfield.
In the 21st minute Bustad again shook free of the Sultan defense along the right-hand side and sent a high ball over to Melissa Osburn who got a shot off, only to see it deflect wide for a corner kick.
Most of the pressure in the attacking portions of the field was coming from Lakewood, they consistently found space to operate on offense, but failed to punish the Turks for defensive mistakes. The difficulty finishing hurt the Cougars when Sultan tied the score 1-1 on a fluke chip shot from the right corner of the field.
The temporary reprimand only served to motivate Lakewood, who continued to pressure strongly and three minutes later found themselves with another excellent scoring chance. Quick passing between Bean and Alicia Silva up front set up a golden opportunity for Courtney Prosser from 20 yards away. Prosser sailed a drive three feet over the goal bar.
Prosser would get her revenge moments later when she sent a long pass over the head of the Sultan sweeper to Bustad who again finished low and hard into the back of the net. The 2-1 lead would be all the scoring Lakewood would need and the majority of the second half was spent in the midfield by both teams. Bustad showed her continued prowess around the penalty area, scoring her third and fourth goals of the week for Lakewood.
Afterward Coach Jeremiah Wohlgemuth was justifiably pleased with his teams performance.
That was a nice, playoff-type atmosphere, said Wohlgemuth. We couldnt put them away but that is a credit to Sultan, they fought the whole way. I thought we showed a great sense of urgency even though there werent a whole lot of scoring chances to be had in the second half.
Wohlgemuth was particularly happy with the week turned in by star forward Bustad.
The coaching staff has told her that we need to rely on her more and more, said Wohlgemuth. I pulled her aside and said that we absolutely need her to finish for the team. The last two games shes done that exceptionally well.
Lakewood plays again Oct. 11 at Cedarcrest.