From the opening minutes of the game, the Lazers took control of the 8-year-old girls soccer contest and never relinquished it. On Saturday at Youth Sports Inc. the Lazers and the Soccer Girls faced off in the second game of the season. Stingy defense and a fast, high scoring offense led the Lazers to an 8-0 victory.
"Defense is a top priority for our team," Lazers coach Robert Knapp said. "With our speed, the offense comes naturally."
Forward Kierstin Hutfles demonstrated that speed when she took the first half of the game into her own hands. Hutfles showed strong footwork while driving to the net for the first goal of the game.
"My team's passing really helped me score," Hutfles said after the game.
Hutfles found the opening in the goal two more consecutive times to give the Lazers a 3-0 lead before the second quarter began.
Before halftime, Kari Karnes slipped the ball past goalie Julia Pfannenstiel for the fourth goal of the game. Hutfles would add another goal, to make it her fourth of the game.
Pfannenstiel made three other stops before Tori Karlin put the ball in the back of the net to add to the Lazers' lead and put them up 6-0 at halftime.
After the half, the Lazers came out with the same offensive power they had in the first half. Karlin added another goal in the third.
Allie Knapp put the icing on the cake with a goal assisted by Isabelle Schmidtberger.
The Soccer Girls had some great looks at the goal but couldn't capitalize. Pfannenstiel took two passes the length of the field only to have one go wide right and the other stopped by Allie Knapp.
Sadie Barbee, who came back from an injury, became the bright spot for the Soccer Girls defense. In the fourth, Barbee was in goal and held the game at 8-0.
Hutfles had four goals on the day and might have had more if she wasn't in goal for the Lazers in the third quarter.
"I like to work on both sides of the ball," Hutfles said. "Defense is more fun, and I have learned how to play goalie. When I am in the goal, I just try to go on the side the other team is on and try to keep my eyes on the ball."
Coach Knapp said the girls used what they learned in practice the previous week on the field during the game.
"We are trying to get the girls to spread out and pass the ball," coach Knapp said. "They have a herding mentality in which they all try to go for the ball that they need to get away from and use the whole field."
In only their second game of the season, coach Knapp saw improvement in his girls. The Lazer defense has helped them shut out both of the opponents they have faced this season. The Lazers will continue to look for the defense to spark their offensive scoring to lead them to a successful season.