With the contest still in a scoreless tie halfway through the first half, Raider forward Laura Barrett tallied the first mark of the game in the 22nd minute.
Tracking down a deep ball in from midfielder Isabella Bombard, Barrett found herself with just the Panthers’ goalkeeper standing between her and a goal. Corralling the ball and taking a few steps closer to her target, Barrett booted a shot just past the outstretched keepers hand and into the bottom right corner of the net to give Reed a 1-0 edge.
The Blue and Gold almost got on the scoreboard again in the 28th minute as a shot bounced between the Panther goalie and trickled toward the goal line, but the keeper was able to scramble back and pounce on the ball just before it crossed over.
Making sure not to make the same mistake again, the Raiders’ Danielle Uptain gave North Valleys no chance to stop her shot in the 32nd minute as she boomed home a goal to push the RHS advantage to 2-0.
Just a few minutes later, Barrett got in on the act again.
After taking a pass from defender Kendra Bujnovsky, Barrett worked her down the field until she was almost horizontal with the goal line. Sending a shot in from between the net and the corner of the field, Barrett placed a rocket over the Panther goalie for a 3-0 lead in the 37th minute.
“We had some people out today so we had to just keep it simple,” Reed coach Jason Saville said. “We tried to open them up that way and we did that. I thought we did a pretty good job of just simple play. Moving off the ball and simple connections. We were trying to move the ball forward instead of playing just this direct game. If we would have hit the ball harder, maybe a few more would have gone in but we’re just going to have to continue to work hard.”
Now Reed (5-1-1) will turn their attention to a big week on their schedule with a pair of key league matchups at home.
“We played somewhat timid in the first half and I thought we were a little bit better after that in terms of being physical. Both games next week are going to be physical, so if we don’t play physical, it’s going to get ugly next week,” Saville said. “They have a chance to put themselves in good position next week and do good things and try to accomplish our first goal, but they’re going to have to want it more than the other team when they step on the field.”
Aside from having the desire to win the game more than their opponents, Saville said the Raiders will have to maintain their mental focus throughout the two contests.
“Being an athlete is 90 percent mental and so I think whoever brings their mental game to those games is probably going to walk away with a win,” Saville said. “In a tight game it’s going to come down to who is going to make the mental mistake of not being switched on at the right time and letting somebody get by or taking a stupid foul or doing something stupid because their mind is switched off. I think that for us we have enough talent and enough skill, but what we need to do is make sure we bring that 90 percent of our head with us both Tuesday and Friday.”