Tough match for Lady Bulldogs

Published 7:42 pm Thursday, March 24, 2011

King’s Fork junior Nicolette Santora keeps the ball away from a Currituck forward during the first half of Wednesday evening’s 2-0 Currituck win at KF. The Lady Bulldogs opened their season with back-to-back 1-0 wins but have now lost three matches in a row.

King’s Fork’s girls soccer squad came out on the short end of a 2-0 result to visiting Currituck Wednesday evening.

Currituck’s two second-half goals, the first just past five minutes into the second half and the second tally coming with 15 minutes remaining, decided the outcome. Everything considered, though, Currituck’s goals weren’t the toughest obstacle the Lady Bulldogs were forced to deal with.

“I’m very pleased with how we played. The girls played as a team and did so in a physical, tough game,” said King’s Fork head coach Jennifer Mullen.

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“Currituck’s a good team and we were able to hold them for awhile. I’m very proud of our team,” Mullen said.

Both sides created chances to score through the first 40 minutes, but the tough evening for the Lady Bulldogs started 12 minutes before halftime.

Coming out of her goal to corral a long Currituck pass, KF goalie Ashlie Gibson slid for the ball and took a hit to the head. Gibson, a senior, had to come out of the game and Mullen said she might have suffered a concussion. Jamika Townsend moved from a field player to goalie.

Currituck gained multiple corner kicks through the second half and capitalized on two of them for Lady Knight goals.

The Lady Bulldogs thought they tied the match with about 20 minutes remaining.

KF played a long boot toward the Currituck box. Currituck’s keeper came out of the box to play the ball as KF forward Desirea Johnson also sprinted for it. The players collided and the whistle went in Johnson’s favor but the whistle also stopped play.

A second later, midfielder Leah Llantos booted the ball into the unguarded goal, but no advantage was given on the play and a Lady Bulldog free kick from 25 yards out was the end result.

Nicolette Santora’s shot on the free kick went wide. Santora played center back until Currituck took the lead, then moved up to play forward for KF.

The near-miss fired up the Lady Bulldog attack but the Lady Knights added the important insurance goal a few minutes later.

In addition to the injury to their first-string keeper, Mullen said the team adjusted on the fly to other injuries on the night.

“We had a few pulls, knees, that sort of thing, but we fought through it,” Mullen said.

The Lady Bulldogs (2-3) opened their season with 1-0 wins over Green Run and Northampton, but Wednesday’s loss gave KF three consecutive setbacks.

The Lady Bulldogs are striving to improve on last year’s 5-9 overall record and 2-7 mark in the Southeastern District. KF is most of the way through the non-district part of the schedule building toward district play getting under way on April 12.