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Thunderbirds wear down Lady Lancers in sectionals PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:23 AM

By JIM METCALFE

Staff Writer

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ELIDA — Lincolnview had to try and contain the speed of Lima Central Catholic’s girls soccer crew during the first match of Wednesday’s Division III Elida Sectional.

The Lady Lancers did so for one half, trailing 1-0 at the half.

However, they couldn’t take advantage of the wind the second half and the depth and speed of the Lady Thunderbirds took over down the stretch for a 4-0 victory.

LCC (10-5-2) will tangle with the Ottawa-Glandorf/Continental winner on Wednesday at Bath.

“We did a nice job of playing good defense against them the first half, of not letting them get open shots. We couldn’t let them run up and down the field on us,” Lincolnview coach Katrina Smith explained. “We just couldn’t get any open shots and we’ve found that when we don’t shoot the ball, we don’t play nearly as well. What hurt us is that they finally started to make the passing connections as the match wore on and they took advantage; that is what good teams do. No doubt, we got tired with our lack of depth trying to chase them all day.”

Lincolnview (3-11-3) staved off the Thunderbirds for all but one part of the first half. At 24:01, that speed paid off as Sydney Santaguida took possession of the ball in the middle of the defense and beat junior keeper Julia Thatcher — who was brilliant in goal with 14 saves against 18 shots on-goal — from 12 yards to the left side for a 1-0 edge.

Thatcher made a couple of other saves, especially at 22:40 when she denied Santaguida twice within a 5-second span.

All the Lancers could muster against the wind was an 8-yarder by senior Christine Stemen at 18:53 and a wide shot by sophomore Brooke Schroeder.

The second half, Thatcher made two brilliant leaping saves at 37:40 and 37:05 on 17-yarders by Meredith Shepherd.

She could not at 32:02 when, off a Lincolnview foul just outside the box that gave LCC a direct kick just right of the semi-circle, Santaguida fired a 19-yarder over the wall and Thatcher had no chance as she went high side to the right side for a 2-0 edge.

Thatcher continued to make key saves to keep the Lancers within striking distance but they could not dent the Thunderbird defense

“They beat us 6-0 the first match, so we made a lot of progress. In all honesty, it would have been worse if Julia hadn’t been so great in goal; she was brilliant to keep us in the match,” Smith added. “We lose seven seniors and for me, they are the second group that I have had all five years on my coaching here. This group in particular was a good core to build around and they will be missed because they helped build this program from scratch. They all played their hearts out.”

The Lancers tried six shots on goal the second half — four by junior Hannah McCleery (16:50, 12:20, 11:15 and 5:35), all outside the box — and two by Schroeder (28:22 and 10:56) within the box and they could not get the orb past the LCC keeper.

Finally, LCC put the match away with two goals in the last 5:19.

Off a quick counterattack against a clearly tiring Lancer crew, Santaguida — perhaps the fastest of the fast — used her passing ability to find Shepherd in the middle of the defense and she went inside the right post from 12 yards for a 3-0 edge.

To top it off, Santaguida did it herself this time, making a strong run down the left side, veering to the middle and then going back left side from the top of the box for a 4-0 advantage.

For LCC coach Mike Santaguida, this was by no means an easy match.

“We had beaten them earlier but every tournament game is a challenge; Lincolnview played well,” he added. “We had to battle through and finally started to receive the ball better. We had our defense played with their backs to the goal the second half — that was our biggest halftime adjustment — and then we could move the ball forward more easily and get it to midfield. From there, our speed could take over.”

 

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