Dog fight ends in draw at Poland
By DAN HINER
After early goals by both teams, the girls’ soccer game between Poland and Lakeview ended in a 1-1 draw between the conference opponents.
Poland scored the first goal on a 25-yard attempt by senior Maggie Sebest with 32:13 remaining in the first half.
But the Poland’s 1-0 lead didn’t last long. Less than a minute later Lakeview (3-1-2, 2-0-2 All-American Conference White Tier) took advantage of a miscommunication on Poland’s defense and junior Reagan Rosenberger tied the game with a goal of her own.
From that point on both teams struggled to maintain possession and get open shots. Both teams struggled to move the ball up the field, beating each other out for free balls
Lakeview head coach Sean Varley said the Poland defense cut off passing lanes and forced Lakeview out of its playing style.
“Poland had us running around tonight and that’s something we usually don’t do,” Varley said. “That’s something we usually don’t do. We basically ball chased for a solid 15 minutes in the second half. The lanes that we usually use to pass through and create space, they weren’t there tonight.
“If you’re gonna win a soccer game, it’s got to be together. And that didn’t happen tonight.”
Poland (3-2-2, 2-0-2 AAC White Tier) relied heavily on its goalkeeper Rachel Pugh. She finished with 6 saves, and head coach John Cavalier said it’s a luxury having a senior playing the most important defensive position.
“Rachel’s a very, very good keeper,” Cavalier said. “She’s tall, can punt the ball, she takes our goal kicks. [Pugh has] a strong leg and is a very good keeper for high school. I think she has a future for her.”
Cavalier said the team’s defense is in good shape. While Poland has allowed five goals in the team’s seven games, he said their offense still needs work and needs to develop more on offense.
“We’re a very good defensive team,” Cavalier said. “Offense, we’re still trying to find the back of the net. I think we’re close, we just need to get a little bit better on our shooting.”
Varley also credited his defense and said he wasn’t worried about that side of the ball. His team only allowed one shot on goal and said the front line was a major reason.
Varley went on to say the offense will only improve if the players “trust each other” moving forward. He said the team is still adjusting to the mix of young and old players, and the team still needs time to learn to play together.
“You got to think about last year. We have our five, maybe six, seniors who had been in those spots for four years and now I’ve replaced them with a whole group of freshmen,” Varley said. “We do have some veterans on the team, Sam Yanci and Reagan Rosenberger, after that it’s some sophomores.
“It’s gelling together and I really hope by midseason they’re all clicking together. It’s still early and these freshmen are learning. Freshmen and sophomores are starting to gel with the upperclassmen. Learn a lesson tonight and move on.”
Cavalier said the offensive problems were similar to Lakeview, and with the tight race for the AAC White Tier, the next meeting between the two teams will have an important impact on the conference.
“I think we need to work on the offensive end of the ball,” Cavalier said. “Once we get that, I think we’re gonna be very competitive. Right now in the AAC White Tier, it happens that Poland, Niles and Lakeview are all 2-0-2 in the league. We’re all tied for first after our first round of games. Next time we meet these two — we do meet them in a couple weeks, back-to-back, Niles and Lakeview — it will be very interesting on both schools’ parts.”