West Rowan soccer blanks Carson
MT. ULLA — When ordinary wouldn’t do, West Rowan’s girls soccer team became extraordinary Monday night.
The fourth-ranked Falcons spent the first 57 minutes of their NPC match against visiting Carson launching shots that sailed wide-left, wide-right and over the crossbar.
“I know, I know,” West senior Toni Lucente smiled afterward. “I should be a field goal kicker. (Scott) Young should have recognized it a few years ago.”
Lucente has stuck with soccer and her exhausting effort — along with a pair of second-half goals by teammate Mariah Coleman — propelled unbeaten West to a 2-0 win over the Cougars.
“To be honest, I thought we were pretty good in both halves,” winning coach Nick Brown said after WR (14-0 overall) improved to 9-0 in conference play with three matches remaining. “We just finished in the second half. More than anything, this was a good response to what we did last week.”
That reference is to a pair of less-than-spectacular, one-goal victories against West Iredell and North Iredell. The Falcons answered by peppering 28 shots toward Carson keeper Alex Allen and converting twice within an 11-minute span.
“We have lots of nights like this,” said Coleman, a junior forward who netted her 18th and 19th goals of the season. “We shoot and shoot and shoot until we wear ourselves out.”
That quantity-over-quality approach backfired in the first half when Carson’s defense faced 15 shots and refused to yield. “(West’s) effort was there in the first half,” said Cougars co-coach Ken Correll. “But they played better in the second half.”
Carson (6-5-1, 5-4) managed only one shot-on-goal — Katie Nichols’ quick release from the doorstep that West goalkeeper Joana Samano juggled and swatted out of play with less than a minute remaining in the first half.
Coleman put the Falcons ahead when she dribbled the ball deep into the left corner, beat a defender and stuffed a shot into the lower left corner with about 23 minutes to play. Then with 11:50 remaining she took a feed from Lucente, split a pair of Carson defenders and rifled a 10-yard shot past Allen. who finished with 15 saves. CHS midfielder Cassie Howard said Lucente was a factor on both goals.
“What Toni does really well is play through the ball,” she said. “You have to drop off to give her space, and that’s how she makes plays. Passing is everything in soccer.”
Brown made a point to laud the defensive work of West’s back four — Meredith Stanley, Claudia Patterson, Meagan Osian and sweeper Kayla Boley, who touched the ball only six or seven times all night.
“I told them,” Brown said. “The days when Kayla doesn’t have to do much back there, you guys have had a great game. And tonight you had a great game.”