Lakewood soccer loses home opener, continues to learn

LAKEWOOD — Lakewood soccer took an early lead against Burlington-Edison, but ultimately the team’s experience showed as the Tigers answered with three goals to win.

After the girls’ first game, Lakewood soccer coach Vaughn Vandelac pointed to the fact his team is very inexperienced. With seven freshmen and a handful of sophomores filling the roster, the team was bound “to have jitters,” Vandelac explained.

In their season home opener, Lakewood drew a match against last season’s state runner-up, a poised Burlington-Edison squad. This match was defined by defense, as all points were scored in the second half. The crowd’s mood became optimistic when Cougar freshmen Danielle Knapp scored a goal six minutes into the second half.

Then, the Tigers of Burlington-Edison went on the offensive and scored two goals in 20 minutes. With 10 minutes left on the clock, the Cougars quickly retaliated and tied the game at two a piece, but had their goal taken away because of an off-sides penalty.

From there on, the game belonged to Burlington-Edison, who scored once again in the closing minutes of the game.

Lakewood coach Vandalac knew his team had a tough opponent, but overall said he thought “the team did well playing against Burlington-Edison.”

He added, “This is game one, we have a long way to go. We can’t come out and expect to be perfect. We need to get back to the drawing board and get ready for our next game against Meridian.”

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