Lady Warriors net city sweep

Published 10:42 pm Thursday, April 9, 2009

After a scoreless first half, Nansemond River put away three goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half to defeat city rival Lakeland Thursday night in a Southeastern District girls soccer contest. With the win, plus NR’s 4-3 win on Tuesday against King’s Fork, the Lady Warriors claim the Suffolk crown for the girls soccer season.

As was the case in NR’s win over King’s Fork, with the exception of an own goal for Nansemond River, three different Lady Warriors tallied the goals.

After a first half which was a 50-50 game in the early going, but shifted more and more into Lakeland’s half of the field with the Lady Warriors putting on the pressure as the half moved on, it took less than two minutes for NR to get the lead after the half.

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Unlike much of the NR attacking in the opening half, it was a quick strike, a bit out of nowhere, for NR’s first goal.

Brittany Frame sent a long ball out of midfield which looked to be rolling harmlessly out of bounds to the right of the Lakeland goal. Megan Meinertzhagen chased the ball down and poked a pass in front of goal and Danielle Gallagher was in the right spot to score from point-blank range.

The Lady Cavaliers had chances to score a tying goal, with the best opportunity being a chance in the middle of the NR box for Kaity Byrum, but Byrum was whistled for a handball as she tried to get a shot off inside the six-yard box. NR goalie Rachel McManus needed two saves for the shutout.

Meinertzhagen’s passing set up NR’s second goal 15 minutes later. The Lady Warriors pounced on a short goal kick by Lakeland and Meinertzhagen slid a pass from right to left across the Lakeland penalty box which Elice Genier finished with a low, hard shot from 13 yards out.

Four minutes later, the Lady Warriors made the margin 3-0 with Malika Rashid putting a shot away on a rebound from a header attempt on goal by Jordan Fontenot.

“We just adjusted to their defense. I think it gave us some trouble,” said NR head coach Darryl Yandle.

“The effort was there for us in the first half, we just had to play a little smarter in the second half,” said Yandle.

The top four teams in the Southeastern District reach the district tournament. With a 2-0 start to district play, Nansemond River is in the playoff picture in the early going. Even with seven district matches left, Yandle had that reason, and a bit of past history against NR’s rival, for extra motivation.

“Two years ago, Lakeland tied us in the last game of the season and that knocked us out of the playoffs. That was still on my mind,” said Yandle.

Lakeland and Nansemond River are both off until after Spring Break and get back into district play on Tuesday, April 21.