|The Cougars immediately took their game to Soledad – if Soledad was to remain undefeated, they were clearly going to have to work for it.
Within 40 seconds of the whistle, Soledad was picking the ball out of the back of their net. Vita had worked the ball down the right, then through to Kate deep on the edge of the penalty area, who drew what defense Soledad had pulled back, before passing to Daniela in front of the six. Daniela did not need an invitation!
Kate was at the Soledad again in the 8th minute, but the goalie made the save, sent the counter to midfield where the Cougars gave up a foul. Anticipating a ball into forwards in around the 18, the Cougars were unprepared for a clear 40 yard shot on goal! Sarah was off her line and the ball pinged off the bar! This was a Soledad player to keep an eye on!
The Cougars promptly countered, with April sending a perfect through ball to Daniela who made it 2 – 0!
Soledad was not in the mind to give up – they had 2 shots in the next two minutes keeping Sarah on her toes. Then possession seemed to move in favor of the Cougars, with 3 attempts on the Soledad goal. In the 22nd minute, a long powerful shot from Soledad was only parried by Sarah. The rebound was delivered to the Cougar net, and sudden Soledad was back in the game!
The Cougars rallied, and spent the remainder of the first half threatening Soledad. Solid defending from Isabelle, Ashley, Jess, Seaira and Mary took most of the pressure off Sarah’s goal. Eliza on the left wing and Vita on the right both had opportunities to put their names on the score sheet!
The second half started just as in the first - the Cougars immediately won possession and were at the Soledad goal in less than a minute. This time it was Daniela’s pass that found Kate open and it was 3 – 1! A shot from Daniela in the 44th, then one from Kate in the 48th, before Jess drove the ball up the left wing, crossed to Kate to make it 4 – 1!
The Cougars continued with a solid advantage in possession until about the 60th minute. Soledad seemed to get a second wind as the Cougars stalled. Soledad missed a great free kick opportunity in the 64 minute, before beating a diving Sarah to the far post in the 70th minute to pull it back to 4 – 2. Rattled, the Cougars tried to raise their game, but Soledad was energized! Sarah pulled off a couple of key saves, and the Cougars managed to rally in the dying minutes. Kate was pulling out all the stops to find another goal, finally picking up on April’s deflected shot to seal the game at 5 – 2 in the last 30 seconds!
Blair had her first game today after coming back from ACL surgery last August. Isabelle continued her dominance in the center of the Cougar backs. Ashley’s learning curve accelerated! Jess epitomized the role of an “attacking back” just as Isabelle had done last year. Seaira worked through an upset stomach with the help of Mary to make it a solid back four for the Cougars. Vita, moving to the right mid today, enjoyed the freedom to explore finishing opportunities. Eliza worked the left with increasing confidence, while Sarah Morris, Genevieve and Maddy (her first game of the season too) backed the team up as key subs. Laura, Jackie and Kellee were unable to play.
We’re still looking to have the full roster completely fit and ready to play!