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Cougars big second half slams door on Coupeville
Emotions ran high for the Lakewood Cougars in their Oct. 23 matchup with the Coupeville Wolves. For 13 graduating seniors, the game marked the last time they would play a regular season game together at home. Most of the seniors have grown up playing soccer together, some for as long as 12 years with the same teammates.
It took a while for the Cougars to shake the nerves out as they went into halftime tied 1-1. But the second half was all Lakewood as they got two goals each from Hayley Bustad and Courtney Prosser, along with one goal from Becca Bean. The scoring onslaught led to a 6-1 win, a fine way to end the home schedule.
Lakewood had plenty of opportunities to seize the advantage early, including two terrific openings for Bustad. In the games first minute Bustad timed an onside run past the last line of defense on a through ball played to her feet. With 25 yards between her and goal she touched the ball too far ahead of her and an alert Coupeville goalkeeper came flying out to make a sliding save.
Bustad again found room in the seventh minute as she wriggled free along the left edge of the penalty box. She shot low and hard this time but Coupevilles goalie was up to the task and prevented any damage.
At the 15 minute mark of the first half, Coupeville struck the games first goal on a slotted pass through the middle of the field. One of the Wolves forwards ran onto the ball and beat the Lakewood defense in front of the goal. A stunned Lakewood team could hardly believe they trailed against an opponent to which they were clearly technically superior.
The rest of the first half saw numerous chances for Lakewood go to waste as they could not finish good opportunities. Melissa Osburn found some space along the left side of the field in the 17th minute but could not put the finishing touches on an equalizing goal.
Fancy footwork from Erin Dierickx in the center of the field started another attack for Lakewood in the 22nd minute. Dierickx outmaneuvered a Coupeville defender with a spin move and fed a streaking Alicia Silva down the left sideline. Silva herself then put a move on the left defender and raced toward the end line. Silva crossed a ball high into the middle and Osburn nearly caught it with her head, but it went over everybody and off into the opposite corner before being cleared.
Minutes later Dierickx again keyed an attack as she placed a ball halfway between forward Anna Work and the Coupeville goalkeeper. Work sprinted on toward the ball as the keeper came out to save it. The two collided with Work getting the short end of it, limping away as the ball was saved.
Work would gain revenge in the 31st minute as she took a long pass from Courtney Prosser and struck a bending ball that clipped the underneath side of the cross bar and bounced into the back of the net. Works goal allowed Lakewood to breathe a big sigh of relief.
The teams went into halftime knotted 1-1 but Lakewood immediately jumped on top to open the second half. A Dierickx cross in front of the goal found the foot of Bustad who punched it in for a 2-1 lead in the 41st minute. One minute later Osburn struck a shot off the post on the right side of the goal frame. The ball ricocheted back to Osburn who shot it again and watched it deflected by the goalkeeper directly in front of the goal area. An alert Becca Bean seized the opportunity and pounced on the rebound before the defense could recover. Lakewood got a fourth goal eight minutes later when Bustad shot a low ball through the goalkeepers legs.
From then on, Lakewood could relax and enjoy their advantage. They got two late goals from Courtney Prosser, including a 35-yard free kick to make the score 5-1.
I spent 20 minutes yesterday working with Courtney on the mentality of free kicks, said Coach Jeremiah Wohlgemuth following the victory. It was great to see her pushing forward at the end of the game and converting that opportunity.
Wohlgemuth was not thrilled with his teams first half effort, but felt decidedly better at the end of the game.
I gave them a little bit of a tongue lashing at halftime, said Wohlgemuth. We didnt start playing until about the 35 minute mark. I know the seniors were emotional but it was dragging us down on the field. In the second half they came out much better.