Girls fight injuries in loss to Lakewood

Falcon Jessica Manca, left, fights for the ball with Lakewood’s Taylor Studzinski during Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Cougars. - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
Falcon Jessica Manca, left, fights for the ball with Lakewood’s Taylor Studzinski during Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Cougars.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

Makenzie Peterson scored the only goal for South Whidbey during the soccer team’s 3-1 loss to Lakewood on Tuesday.

Two minutes into the second period, with the score 3-0, Peterson booted the ball squarely into the net with an assist from Paige Miller.

“She scored on a rebound from a Lakewood defensive header,” said Falcon coach Paul Arand. “Paige played the ball central from a throw-in. When a Lakewood player tried to clear the ball, Makenzie stepped up and volleyed the ball the first time to the lower right corner of the net.”

But the first half belonged to the Cougars.

“At first, the girls were a little hesitant to show the aggression needed at this level of play,” Arand explained. “They were shocked at the speed of the game.”

That hesitancy led to Lakewood slamming in three goals within the first 15 minutes.

“In the heat of battle, response to changing conditions has to be automatic,” Arand said.

He added that the Cougars were consistent in getting the ball to the center and crossing it on the slant, which produced easy looks at the net.

Two of Lakewood’s goals were on target, dead center.

“It’s better to be in front of the goal than to left or right, simply because the net’s bigger at that point,” Arand noted.

“There was a little confusion at the start,” said senior defender Megan Larmore. “It takes time to get used to how the other guys play.”

Sophomore Jessica Manca thought the whole varsity should have begun the game from the get-go.

“When all of us are out there, then we win,” she said.

That seemed obvious when South Whidbey scored its only goal.Peterson recalled the moment.

“Paige (Miller) headed the ball from a backward stance and I got it in from 18 yards out, from the right,” she said.

“Her lead-up and finish were good; it looked just about flawless,” said Arand said.

And he liked it.

“Precisely what we should always do.”

The Falcons didn’t score again, but then neither could the Cougars after Arand cycled in what healthy varsity players were on hand.

Arand said that, in the latter stages of the first half and during all of the second, the Falcons demonstrated great ball control and possession.

“There were moments in the game where we were making solid connections between players, keeping the ball away from the other team,” he said. “That’s always good to see.”

Larmore was one of the Falcons forced to leave early due to an old war injury.

“Not warming up properly or going against an aggressive player are the two main reasons people get hurt,” she explained. “For me, it was a crash several years ago that comes back to bother me from time to time.”

Thursday, the girls lost 5-1 to Cedarcrest, last year’s conference champ. Jessica Manca scored South Whidbey’s only goal in the 79th minute.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, the girls welcome the Sultan Turks to Waterman Field.

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