MURRAY — Monday night featured a doubleheader in soccer at Calloway County as the Lakers hosted the Mayfield Cardinals and sent both the boys and girls teams home with a loss.
The Lady Lakers (1-1) earned a resounding win over the Lady Cardinals (0-2) in the first match of the night 10-0. It was the 14th meeting in a row between the two teams that resulted in a 10-0 win for Calloway.
Four players recorded goals for the Lady Lakers in the win. Leading the way was Elle Carson, who finished with four goals and two assists. The two assists are her first of the year for the current career leader in assists at Calloway County.
“She is the key to our attack,” Lady Lakers head coach Savana Thielen said. “We can pull her back and have her play a central midfield spot and she can distribute the ball really well with the assists, or we can throw her up top as a forward and she can shoot the ball or distribute off to whoever is up top with her. being able to move the ball is key and we’ve got a hole if we don’t have her out there, but she can move the ball and shoot the ball so she’s a dual-threat for us.”
Also in on the scoring were Addi Schumacher with two goals and an assist, Rylee McCallon with two goals and freshman KayBre Gamble with two goals.
Coming off a season-opening loss, 4-1 to Graves County, the Lady Lakers moved in the right direction and gained some momentum headed into the remainder of the season.
“It’s a big morale booster, coming off our game last week,” Thielen said. “It helps our girls move the ball around and to learn some positioning things that we’ve changed up since our last game. Being able to get out on the field and pass the ball around and move the ball quickly, focus in on our defensive tactics, and how to move the ball from defense to offense, it’s helpful.”
Thielen was able to get several players extended minutes and rest the starters for long stretches in the contest which gave her a good look at what younger players could potentially see playing time in future games.
“We had a lot of girls that didn’t get to play last week, so getting to have them out there for almost 30 minutes is good to see who we’ve got to sub in and positions that we can put them in,” Thielen said. “We played some people in some different spots, so it was good to see what we’ve got and that helps a first-year coach out.”
The Lady Lakers will be in action again on Thursday against the Murray High Lady Tigers at 5:30 p.m.
In the boys’ game, the score was closer and the game was much more physical. At the final buzzer, the Lakers (2-0) held a 3-2 lead to take home the district win.
Through two games, the Lakers have two district wins and are positioning themselves for a good seed in the district tournament, however, head coach Evan Pierce still sees a critical area that needs improvement.
“Our thought process was pretty good down the stretch, but our execution needs to be a lot better,” Pierce said. “We looked to make the right pass, but we would pass it a step behind the player, so our thought process was there, we just need to clean it up on the technical side. I think that could’ve gone a long way for us in this game.”
In each of the first two games, the Lakers have jumped out to a 2-0 lead before conceding a goal. That mental lapse is the area that Pierce believes the Lakers can get better.
“We’re coming out strong,” Pierce said. “We got two good goals in the first half, but I think we need to make sure we are staying engaged in the game mentally down the stretch.”
As for the offense, Pierce was ecstatic that they were able to put together three goals against Mayfield’s goalkeeper, Diego Juarez, considering the skill level he possesses in the frame. Last season Juarez averaged 17 saves per game as he is constantly challenged. Without him in the goal, the Lakers would’ve scored at least one more goal Monday night, but he made a stellar play to stop the goal-scoring opportunity.
“He made two amazing saves on point-blank shots that should’ve been goals,” Pierce said. “He made a heck of a play on them. He’s been solid for them the past few years, so I’ll take three goals on him.”
The Lakers will be in action on Thursday in the second game of a doubleheader at home against the Murray High Tigers at 7:00 p.m.