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Lakewood defense cant hold out
LAKEWOOD The Archbishop Murphy Wildcats girls soccer team will be a prohibitive favorite at the state tournament later this season. They came into Lakewoods home stadium Sept. 25 and put on a clinic in passing the ball, culminating in a 6-1 victory over the Cougars.
It was all Murphy right from the opening whistle as they controlled the ball throughout. Sharp passes and quick attacking players made it difficult for the Lakewood defense and particularly for beleaguered goalkeeper Emily Steinborn.
Despite the lopsided margin of victory, Steinborn played a very good match for the Cougars and made upwards of 20 saves in addition to the goals allowed.
In the first half Lakewood kept Murphy out of the net entirely, thanks in no small part to Steinborns heroics. In the 11th minute she tipped a rocket shot over the crossbar to prevent the Wildcats from staking themselves to an early lead. She managed to punch out of the box another free kick seven minutes later from the Wildcat attack, then saved a rebound shot.
In the final minute of the half, Lakewood even found itself with a great opportunity to go ahead as Erin Dierickx took a through pass on the left wing, made a shifty move on a Murphy defender, and struck a low line drive on goal. If not for an excellent save by the Wildcat keeper Lakewood would have led 1-0 despite little ball control or cohesive play in the first 40 minutes.
The score remained 0-0 at halftime, a moral victory for the Cougars who looked to capitalize on better play in the second frame. They started off hot as Dierickx again took a pass from Hayley Bustad and nearly got a clean break on goal. Her attempt was thwarted by a hustling Murphy defense and two minutes later the Wildcats clawed ahead 1-0 on a through pass on the right side of the net. Goalkeeper Steinborn had no chance to collect the well placed shot.
The game wasnt over however, and Lakewood came storming back to tie it. Bustad earned a corner kick for the Cougars along the right sideline and then crossed a ball into Melissa Osburn who deflected it into the crowded penalty area. An alert Dierickx poached a poor Murphy clearance right into the back of the net to level the score 1-1.
From then on, it was all Murphy as they continually pressured hard in front of the Lakewood net. The Cougars defense could not maintain their marks tight enough to keep the Wildcats away and in the 56th minute it was 2-1 Murphy.
The rest of the game got out of hand as the Wildcats tagged four more balls into the back of the net to win 6-1.
I was proud of our defense in the first half, said Coach Jeremiah Wohlgemuth. We held an excellent team scoreless, even though we were defending 90 percent of the time. We showed a lot of character as a team in the second half, nobody hung their heads.
The Cougars play again Oct. 4 against Sultan.