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September 16, 2021ALTON — The Prospect Mountain and Inter-Lakes girls' soccer teams have both spent the early part of the season searching for the right pieces in the right places and trying to make all those pieces work together.
After last Tuesday's game in Alton, it appears the Lakers are a bit closer to finding those answers than the Timber Wolves are, as Inter-Lakes took a 4-1 win over the hosts.
"I think we're figuring it out," said Inter-Lakes coach Chelsea Crockett. "We have to learn to possess a little better, but we're finding the through player and we have great speed up front."
"So far, it's not going the way I'm looking for, but it makes it so I know what we're doing at practice the next day," said first-year Prospect coach Drew Williams. "There's lots of different ways to see what we need to work on and what we need to improve."
The Lakers didn't waste much time getting on the board, as they scored just two minutes into the game, as Lianna Keenan followed up a direct kick by getting off a shot that sneaked past Prospect keeper Thera Woods for the 1-0 lead. The Lakers continued to pressure with a good bid from Brooke Rollins, but Abby Breuer turned in a good defensive stop for Prospect.
The Timber Wolves had the first corner of the game and Olivia Casale had a shot, but Julia Pendergast made a nice clear for Inter-Lakes. Breuer had another good defensive play and Sarah White just missed connecting with Piper Flood at the other end. White had another shot stopped by Inter-Lakes keeper Allana Poehler. Mackenzy Holden also had a shot on net for the Timber Wolves that Poehler snagged and White added another shot.
Sofie Fleischmann had a couple of solid bids for the Lakers, with Maren Rayno making a nice defensive stop on one of the bids and the other going off the cross bar. Jaden Burt just missed connecting with White, Breuer had a shot stopped and Ella Smith had a direct kick that was headed on net, with Poehler making the save.
Fleischman, Kate DeTolla, Pendergast and Ali McCarthy all had chances for the Lakers and Sara Harris made a nice defensive stop on Flood. The Lakers had a corner kick that Breuer and Casale were able to clear out of the zone.
The Lakers got on the board again with Fleischmann firing a shot that went off the fingertips of Woods and into the net for the 2-0 lead. The Lakers had two more corners that Erin Furnee sent over the top of the net. Furnee had another bid stopped by Woods, as did McCarthy and Fleischmann sent a shot wide, sending the game to halftime with the visitors up 2-0.
Prospect had a couple of early bids in the second half, with Burt and White getting a couple of chances, with Anna Carpentiere playing solid defense for the Lakers. Flood also had a look, with Pendergast coming through with a defensive stop.
However, with 33:30 to go in the second half, Smith sent a ball through to Flood, who got past the defense and buried the shot, cutting the lead to 2-1. Flood continued the pressure with a couple of nice looks, but the Lakers held strong to keep the Timber Wolves at bay.
The Lakers had a corner kick chance that Rayno was able to clear out in front and then McCarthy and DeTolla had bids go wide of the net. Ruby Preisendorfer had a direct kick for the Lakers that Becca Hopkins cleared from the zone. The Lakers were able to get a shot past Woods, but the Prospect defense swept in and booted the ball out of harm's way.
Abby Wittenburg had a defensive stop on Fleischmann and Burt had a nice cross to Olivia Noyes, but her shot was stopped by Poehler.
Just before the midway point of the half, the Lakers got the two-goal lead back, as Lily Richardson got down the outside and around the defense, firing a shot to the far post for the 3-1 lead.
The Lakers pushed the lead to 4-1 just more than two minutes later, as Ali McCarthy fired a shot off feeds from Furnee and Richardson on a corner kick.
Holden had a couple of good chances for the Timber Wolves before Joscelyn Boucher took over in net for Inter-Lakes. At the other end, Woods came out to make a grab on a ball that McCarthy sent just ahead of Poehler. Holden had a trio of chances go wide of the net and Harris made a defensive stop on a White bid.
Rayno just missed connecting with White, then White found Burt for a bid that was stopped. Smith had a shot go wide for Prospect and Woods had a late save on a late Laker bid to close out the game.
"I think they're starting to figure out positioning," Crockett said. "They're learning where they're supposed to be and where they're supposed to go.
"They play for each other, they all like each other and want to be there for the other person," she continued. "It's the heart that I like."
"Today there was a lot of player movement because of the last game," Williams said. "In my coaching, I feel like if they're feeling like they're listened to, I get more out of them.
"And they were happy at the start with the changes, but it's different once things don't go well," he continued. "In practice, it looks like they get in, but they come out in the game and it can be so different."
Prospect is scheduled to host Monadnock today, Sept. 16, and will be hosting Belmont on Tuesday, Sept. 21, both at 4 p.m.
The Lakers are slated to be at Somersworth on Friday, Sept. 17, and will be at Berlin on Tuesday, Sept. 21, both at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.