Lady Highlanders too much for Lady War Eagles
CONROE, Texas - The Woodlands Lady Highlanders defeated the Oak Ridge Lady War Eagles 6-1 Tuesday night, with both teams creating numerous opportunities at the face of the goal despite the large disparity between points.
The Lady War Eagles (2-1-2) scored the first goal of the game in the 11th-minute of the first half, with Sophomore forward Colleen Bartal playing a ball from the middle to the left side, where Sophomore defender Kennedy Jones picked it up and took a shot from the left side of the final third and scored. The Lady Highlanders (4-0) were not to be outdone, however, and came back four minutes later with a goal from Mollie Bond. Lady Highlander Sabrina Marx switched the ball across the face of the goal from the left side, in which Bond anticipated and finished from the right side, bringing the score to 1-1 just 15 minutes into the game.
“Oak Ridge has got a great team, it just so happen they had fallen to us tonight. Next time we play them, it may be a completely different ball game,” Woodlands coach Dina Graves said of her opponent.
The first half finished up with two more goals for the Lady Highlanders, with Sabrina Marx scoring in the 28th-minute bringing the score to 2-1, as well as assisting the Woodlands’ third goal in the 26th-minute, crossing it from the left side of the final third to Grace Piper, who swiftly placed the ball in the back of the net. The Lady War Eagles did not give the goals to the Woodlands easily, as they made sure to apply defensive pressure in all situations. Oak Ridge also prioritized the capitalization on any possible counter attacks, as they continually sent balls into the Woodlands defensive territory, with Senior Kaitlin Alexander repeatedly sending long balls out of the back and into the Lady War Eagles’ attacking third.
“I am proud of the fact that we are the first team to score on The Woodlands, I am proud of the fact that they played hard, I am proud of the fact that my back-up keeper was put in a bad situation and did the best she could. You want to play better against better competition like that, but we made a decision to push up in the second half, and try to get back in the game, but it just wasn’t the best choice for us, and they’re good, they made us pay. All credit to them, they are a good team,” Oak Ridge coach James Collins said.
The second half immediately began with a goal from The Woodlands, with Mollie Bond scoring in the first 36 seconds with assistance from Jazzy Richards, who switched the ball to the right side of the goal away from pressure, where Bond waited, bringing the score to 4-1. The fifth goal was once again a combination from Richards and Bond, with the same set up occurring and another finish from Bond, less than one minute after the previous goal. The Lady Highlanders continued pressing, and in the 6th-minute of the second half scored the final goal of the game. Sommer Stanley of The Woodlands played a through ball over the heads of the Oak Ridge defenders, and Stephanie Evans took advantage of the situation and ran onto Stanley’s ball and put herself in an one-against-one situation with Lady War Eagle keeper Alex Parks. Evans finished the ball with a central viewpoint of the Oak Ridge goal, and brought the score to 6-1, with the Lady Highlanders prevailing.
Oak Ridge finished up the second half with multiple offensive opportunities, with an obvious determined drive to score. Kennedy Jones attempted to score with an assist from Colleen Bartal in the 9th-minute, but could not quite get passed Woodlands goalkeeper Monica Dallacasa. Jones came back again in the 23rd-minute, sending a driven ball from the right sideline into the 6-yard box, where Dallacasa once again remained focused and driven and picked the ball out of the air before a Lady War Eagle could get on the end of it. The final Oak Ridge attack was due to an one-against-one opportunity, in which Mercedes Rogers of Oak Ridge challenged Woodlands’ Dallacasa, but the ball was cleared away by a collective effort of Dallacasa and the Lady Highlander defenders.
The Woodlands head coach Dina Graves believed the difference in this particular game for the Lady Highlanders compared to the others of the season was the girls’ determination to capitalize on offensive opportunities.
“We have given ourselves lots of chances, but not capitalizing on those opportunities has been the difference in quite a few of our games,” Graves said.
The Lady War Eagles continue their district run on Tuesday, February 17 against Summer Creek at Summer Creek. The Lady Highlanders will be playing this Friday, February 13 against Summer Creek at home.