Lady Cavs break long losing streak
Published 9:59 pm Monday, March 28, 2011
Lakeland’s girls soccer team won its first match in more than a season Monday night with Jamee Albright’s goal with just under 15 minutes remaining being the difference in a 2-1 victory over visiting Phoebus.
The Lady Cavaliers (1-2) went winless and drawless last spring. Two matches into this season, the Lady Cavs still didn’t have a positive result to their credit, but head coach Nada Jefferson was seeing plenty of optimistic signs. For starters, the Lady Cavs played more competitive matches against Lafayette and Smithfield to open this season compared to blowouts against the same opponents a year ago.
Lakeland was more than competitive against the Lady Phantoms, creating more scoring chances than Phoebus throughout the match. The first victory still was anything but easy.
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“We kept possession very well,” Jefferson said, “but we have to keep working on our finishing. We got a lot of shots on goal but we needed to finish more of them.”
The Lady Cavs kept most of the action in midfield or toward the Phoebus penalty box in the early stages. Lakeland outshot Phoebus while also forcing the Lady Phantoms into fouls, yet Phoebus wound up with the first excellent scoring opportunity of the match.
Just inside the last 10 minutes of the half, the Lady Cavs were called for a pass back to their keeper giving Phoebus an indirect kick just a few yards from the Lakeland goal.
The kick came from a narrow angle to the right of goal. With seven Lady Cavs forming a wall inside the near post, Phoebus crossed the ball toward the left post and a shot banged high off that post and out of play.
Less than a minute before halftime all of the Lady Cavalier work and running paid off.
Kasey Smith and Amanda Regione worked to turn a loose ball in midfield into Lakeland possession and Regione sent a pass down the right side for Alexis Albright. Albright outran the Phoebus defense and crossed into the box. Jillian Bates was there to get a shot off before the Lady Phantom keeper closed in and Bates’ shot bounced into the empty goal.
Lakeland’s 1-0 lead didn’t last long. Less than three minutes into the second half Phoebus answered by turning a corner kick into a battle right in Lakeland’s goal mouth and a tying goal.
The Lady Cavaliers went ahead for good in the 65th minute with more speed creating the attack.
Jamee Albright’s long pass from the midfield circle sent Regione breaking down the left side. Regione cut toward the box and crossed, looking for Christine Quiroga near the penalty spot. A Phoebus defender blocked Quiroga’s shot attempt. A lot of traffic from both teams followed and Jamee Albright, with her back to goal for a second, pivoted and sent a low, hard drive into the net.
“I think they can use this as a confidence builder and as something that can lead them forward, to know they can do it,” Jefferson said.
The victory is the first of six straight matches at home for the Lady Cavaliers. Lakeland hosts Northampton Tuesday at 4 p.m. with a boys match between Lakeland and Northampton following at 6 p.m.