Southridge's Sarah Morgan and Wa-Hi's Lexi Swenson in heady competition Saturday afternoon at Wa-Hi.
Photo by Jeff Horner.
WALLA WALLA — An injury in the first few minutes to a key defender, Allie Greene, and two unassisted first-half goals by Southridge’s Mercedes Haberling, were too much for the Wa-Hi girls’ soccer team as the Blue Devils fell 2-1 in Mid-Columbia Conference action.
“One of our forwards, Brigit Lyons, had to drop back and play defender,” Wa-Hi assistant coach Kimberly Gradwohl said. “She did a great job, especially for not playing on the back line much.”
For the game, Wa-Hi had nine shots on offense, while the Suns had only six.
“We kept good possession of the ball for much of the game,” Gradwohl said. “We didn’t even challenge our own keeper that much. We just couldn’t find a way to finish on offense.”
Gradwohl said the girls that subbed in played well and that everyone took the halftime advice to heart. The Blue Devils were instructed to play defense together and not let No. 3 (Haberling) get the ball as much. They needed to keep Haberling from dribbling alone and to be flanked by a swarm of defenders, she said.
Haberling didn’t score in the second half and Wa-Hi attempted to mount a comeback.
The Blue Devils scored in the 59th minute on a pass from Kiana Molitor and a goal by Viri Ibarra.
Wa-Hi wasn’t able, however, to score the equalizer and continue the run to beat Southridge.
The Blue Devils (2-6 league) play at Hanford Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“Hanford should be a good matchup for us,” Gradwohl said. “We beat them earlier in the season in a shootout, so hopefully we will win again.”