A poor opening 15 minutes cost Lakewood girls soccer team a victory as the Kings Knights held on for a 2-1 win in their Sept. 13 match.
A slip up by a Cougar defender gave Kings the lead 1-0 just six minutes into the game and the Knights managed to sneak a long through ball between defenders for a second goal 10 minutes later.
From that point on Lakewood controlled the match, using some good passes in the midfield from Erin Dierickx. Dierickx found substitute forward Anna Work on several first half runs to set up scoring chances but Work could not finish to narrow the gap. Alicia Silva also produced some good movement in the attacking end of the field, but nobody could put a shot into the back of the net.
Toward the end of the first half Work got another chance thanks to a brilliant touch pass from Melissa Osburn on the right side of the field. Osburn one-touched a crisp lead pass to a streaking Work who hammered a shot at the Kings keeper. The ball knuckled but was a relatively easy save, hit directly at the waiting goalie. Lakewood was forced to settle for a 0-2 halftime deficit.
Coach Jeremiah Wohlgemuth got a bit heated during the halftime talk with his team, telling them that they looked lethargic and needed to pick up the pace. It worked and in the second half the Cougars came out playing much more aggressive soccer.
The substitution of Becca Bean along the left side of the attack opened up more possibilities for the Cougars as they sought to make up the difference. Dierickx moved into a full-time forward role and continued to press hard in attack. After 20 minutes, Dierickxs hard work paid off as she directed a well-placed throw-in over the head of the Kings defense and onto the foot of Work. Work navigated past the defense and took the ball with a clear path to goal. The Knights only option was a desperate slide tackle, which took out Work in the process, giving Lakewood a penalty kick. Jeneca Hoidal coolly put the penalty into the lower right side of the net, pulling Lakewood within 2-1.
With the game tight, pressure mounted against Kings goalie. Hayley Bustad produced several excellent chances for Lakewood in the closing minutes of the game, including one shot off the near post. The duo of Dierickx and Work continued to push forward relentlessly and Work nearly knotted the score when a Bustad cross sailed inches above her head in front of an empty net.
In spite of their best efforts, Lakewood could not find the equalizer and fell 2-1 after 80 minutes. Coach Wohlgemuth wasnt impressed with his clubs first half but encouraged by the second 40 minutes.
Anna Work was spectacular for us tonight, said Wohlgemuth. This is only her second year of organized soccer and you can see how much talent she has. In the last two games she has created three goals for us.
The senior heavy squad did manage to fight hard for the entire game and come close to tying Kings, so the loss stung more than usual.
I gave the team an earful at half, said Wohlgemuth. Theres no excuse for a team with 12 experienced seniors to have that kind of body language on the field. We held them scoreless the last 65 minutes and had four or five good chances at the end to tie it.
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