Tough fight from LHS girls soccer comes up short to Gardner Edgerton
photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World photo
A gutsy second period from the Lawrence High girls soccer team didn’t produce the one goal they needed, and the Lions dropped their second contest of the season 2-1 to the Trailblazers on Tuesday night.
LHS coach Joe Comparato was pleased with the confidence his girls carried themselves with after tying the game up 1-1 late in the first period. He said his Lions (0-2) took another real step in finding their identity against a tough Gardner Edgerton team.
“Tonight was the first time I’m starting to see the shape of the team come together,” Comparato said. “We’re handling the ball, the ball movement, they’re starting to feel the system a little bit. We’re having trouble at the finishing end, but I feel like we’ve shored up our backside.”
It didn’t take long for LHS sophomore Elise Rathmel to find an open shot, looking for an open seam against Blazers’ sophomore keeper Addy Holle just five minutes after kickoff.
Gardner Edgerton fell short on two corner kicks at the 27 and 23-minute marks, resulting in LHS senior Cree Stewart’s second save of the first period and a missed opportunity for Blazers senior Brenley Cunningham to tap in an early score.
Stewart stopped two shots from Gardner junior Lily Marshall, racking up her five saves with just 13 minutes left in the first period. Taking advantage of another corner kick, the Blazers scored first on a header by sophomore Sienna Smith with seven minutes left until the break.
LHS, making a quick turnaround with three minutes left before halftime, tied the game at 1-1 thanks to Rathmel, who cleared the right pocket for a short-range goal. Comparato said his team’s response was golden.
“It was just intensity,” Comparato said. “I just wanted them to play with intensity. I always tell them: outwork the person next to you and if all 11 people are doing that, then we’re playing at our highest level. They really stepped up.”
Cunningham got her second chance to score mere moments into the second period, firing a shot past Stewart to reclaim the lead for the Blazers with plenty of soccer left.
LHS junior forward Rai’Onna Helm set a new tempo for the Lions’ offense in the second period, becoming a key asset on the left side of the field. Helm’s aggressive style set up two shot opportunities for LHS, both unsuccessful, as the Blazers led at the 20-minute mark.
After a quiet stint, LHS got another chance at the goal with 11 minutes to go when junior Maison Flory placed the ball upfield for Helm to take a strike on Holle. A collision with Holle cut LHS’s momentum, and the last shot the Lions got off fell short with under a minute left.
Lawrence High 1 0 – 1
Gardner-Edgerton 1 1 – 2
SHOTS: LHS – 4; GEHS 14.
SAVES: LHS – Cree Stewart 8; GEHS – Addie Holle 3.