By Jim Newell
The Lake Orion girls varsity soccer team beat Sterling Heights Stevenson 2-1 Friday night, improving their overall record to 7-3.
The victory capped a busy week for the Dragons, who racked up their third win of the week after defeating Farmington Hills Harrison 4-0 on April 24 and Birmingham Groves 1-0 on April 25, both away games.
Against Stevenson, the Dragons came out strong on their home field, controlling the pace and putting the pressure on the Titans early in the game.
“Stevenson is a MAC Red team, which is a pretty tough conference and they have a good coach, so winning 2-1 is good,” said Dragon Head Coach Chris Corteg. “In the first half, I thought we played as well as we have all season. We possessed the game, made them chase us a bit, scored a couple nice goals, created some chances, so I was very happy.”
Senior Paige Goodman netted the Dragons first goal on a penalty kick after a Stevenson foul inside the penalty box, less than nine minutes into the game.
The Dragons continued to control the rhythm of play, with Sophomore Grace Cady scoring Lake Orion’s second goal of the match ten minutes later (with 21:23 left in the first half) to put the Dragons up by two.
The Dragons took a two-goal lead into halftime, but a desperate Titan team revved up their game and evenly matched the Dragons in a back-and-forth second half.
“In the second half (Stevenson) pressed. We talked about it, 2-0 is a very dangerous score in soccer,” Corteg said.
Stevenson scored their lone goal of the match halfway through the second half, sparking the Titans to try for the equalizer and keep the pressure on the Dragons defense.
“The Second half got a little chaotic, we sort of got out of our rhythm and it turned into a direct game, sort of (send the ball) long and chase. But the last 5-7 minutes we settled down and closed the game out. We talked about it earlier in the season – there’s going to be a lot of close games and you have to learn to protect your lead. So, I was happy overall.”
And while the coach said it was a team effort, he mentioned a few of the players who had a good game.
“Jackie Gingell is one of the captains. She does a very nice job in the back, very reliable, a good leader. Tough – she took a real heavy challenge (tonight) and shook it off, she didn’t have to come out. So, she’s been a rock back there.”
“Grace Cady played a very good game, that second goal was a very well taken goal. Jackie (Gingell) passed the ball to her diagonally and she took a touch or two and finished clinically, side netting, far post.”
“In the midfield, Meg Danielson is doing well. Our little freshmen (forward) Ally Tefend is very dangerous up top, lots of energy, runs all over the place.”
Corteg said junior Chelsea Styma did a good job in goal for the Dragons against Stevenson. Senior goalkeeper Taryn Redd had the night off, but Corteg said she has a playing edge.
“They’re both very good. We’re lucky to have them.”
The Dragons went on the road to beat Birmingham Groves 1-0 on April 25. Scoring for the Dragons was senior captain Madilyn Zalac. Getting the assist was Ally Tefend. Senior Taryn Redd was in the net and with the help of a strong team defensive effort, recorded the shutout. It was the third straight shutout win for the Dragons.
On April 24, the Dragons traveled to Farmington Hills Harrison and came home with a 4-0 victory.
Paige Goodman led the scoring for the Dragons with two goals. Jordyn Marchese and Lily Cady added the others. Gianna Roland, Marisa Szydlowski, Megan Cullen and Emma Gibb each had assists on the goals.
Splitting time in the net and combining for another Dragon shutout were Taryn Redd and Chelsea Styma.
By Jim Newell