Girls’ Soccer: Lady Tigers claim Sierra League title
October 24, 2012
McKenna Kynett scored twice and Lexie Weaver added another Monday as the Douglas Tigers girls soccer team grabbed a 3-1 win and captured the regular-season Sierra League crown.
Douglas finished 14-2, while the Senators ended up 13-1-2. The Douglas win avenged a loss to Carson earlier this year.
“It was a great night, one of the best ever,” Douglas coach Lorraine Fitzhugh said. “The girls didn’t give into pressure. Instead they played excellent team defense and then once they possessed the ball, they connected many combinations toward the top third.”
It’s the eighth regular-season title for the Tigers, their third title in the last five years and second in a row.
“We’re always a strong team,” Fitzhugh said. “This group is just starting. We have a young team. They’re just learning and doing well while they learn.
“We have smart and exciting players who connect the ball well and use each other on the field.”
After sailing through the first 15 games without a loss, Monday’s loss was a tough one to swallow for the Senators.
“We had lots and lots of opportunities in the first half and couldn’t convert any of them,” Carson coach Greg Lehman said.
The game was scoreless for the first 36 minutes with both teams failing to convert on some good opportunities.
Douglas finally broke through when Lindy Lehman was unable to clear a ball out of the Carson end.
Weaver blasted a shot that Emmy Heller made a great diving stop on. However, Heller was unable to maintain control of the ball, and Weaver chipped it in to make it 1-0.
In the 50th minute, Carson was awarded a penalty kick when Michelle Sandage was pulled down in the penalty box. Kenzie Tillitt, normally very accurate on PKs, sent one wide right.
“A little bit,” Lehman said when asked if the missed kick changed the momentum. “It was a chance for us to tie the game.”
Four minutes later, Douglas made it 2-0 when Kynett, off a pass from Weaver, beat Heller. In the 66th minute, Douglas added another goal when Heller came out to play a ball and kicked it but failed to clear it, and Kynett ripped one into the open net.
“Emmy came out and played the ball and it went to her (Kynett),” Lehman said. “They made us pay for our mistakes.”
That’s what good teams do, and the Tigers are a good team.
Sandage had a chance to score moments later, but her shot sailed over the crossbar.
In extra time, Tillitt was pulled down in the penalty box and converted the PK this time to complete the scoring.
Fitzhugh said she was pleased with the overall effort from the team.
“McKenna Kynett played especially smart and effective,” Fitzhugh said. “She and Lexie have especially gelled over the last few games.”
Fitzhugh also noted the play of the defense, highlighted by the vocal leadership of keeper Corynne Millett and Hannah Coverley, and the work of Carly Johnson, Megan Sheets and Caitlin Jones.
Lindsey Adams and Caitlin Bidart were troublesome for the Carson defense along the wings and Ericka Arellano, Kassidy Freitas, Camry Varble and Samantha Crawford held down the middle of the field. Fitzhugh noted Caitlyn Jones and Emily Lawrence for playing through injuries and Gabby Vega for providing a spark off the bench.
Douglas will host a first-round playoff game Tuesday at 6 p.m. against either Reed or McQueen.
Douglas fell to Damonte Ranch 9-0 at home on Saturday and will close out the season tonight at Carson at 7 p.m.