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Cougars girls soccer stuns Raiders
Sep 26, 2009 | 525 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Reed's Jessica Allen (left) and Spanish Springs' Gianna Wise (right) battle for a header.
Tribune/John Byrne - Reed's Jessica Allen (left) and Spanish Springs' Gianna Wise (right) battle for a header.
The Spanish Springs girls soccer team was not in a good position heading into Saturday's High Desert League clash with Reed, coming off a loss to Elko, another top league team.

Spanish Springs came out with something to prove and took it to the three-time defending Northern state champs, winning 3-1.

"It was one of those games we kind of needed to win," SSHS girls soccer coach Mike Faker said. "We want to be 1 or 2 for the playoffs. We couldn't lose to Elko and Reed back-to-back."

Barely two minutes into the game, Reed was on the attack, but Spanish Springs halted it and mounted a counterattack. The Cougars patiently waited for each pass to open as they trekked back up the field until Shaylor Francom passed ahead to Alyssa Bertuleit.

Reed goalkeeper Danielle Peacon got a hand on the shot, but not enough as Bertuleit put the hosts ahead 1-0.

The Raiders had plenty of chances to score the equalizer with five different corner kick opportunities, but the Cougars defense and keeper Erica Lorenz were solid.

With just over three minutes remaining in the first half, a long pass from Morgan Allen found Francom's foot on a breakaway down the left side of the field and Francom rifled a shot into the far side of the goal for a 2-0 halftime lead.

The pressure just kept coming after the intermission. Spanish Springs pushed the ball up the right side of the field. Megan Evans collected a cross from Lindsey Pengelly and unleashed a one-timer into the left side of the goal, pushing the lead to 3-0 nine minutes into the second half.

The Raiders tried to up the attack by moving up an extra forward, but it didn't matter as Spanish Springs packed in at least five defenders, who didn't give up much ground.

Reed's leading scorer Kelsey Gomer was kept in check by a strategy employed by Faker. Freshman Taylor Kern and Evans took turns marking Gomer and not allowing her many touches in open space.

"We didn't really pack it in until the very end, and it wasn't really on purpose. We had to do it out of necessity," Faker said. "But it is nice to score first, and we scored first by taking a player out of the offense, which is something I don't really like to do. But looking at Gomer's stats, she's scored too many goals to just let her run around out there.

"It worked out. She's a good player. Just look at the goals she's scored, it's ridiculous. She's scored more goals this year than we have all together."

Faker said he would have switched his strategy if marking Gomer would have stalled his offense, but he got the best of both worlds.

While Reed coach Jason Saville admitted the strategy worked, he was obviously frustrated with allowing the three goals against a team focusing on defense.

"The big difference was they got everyone back behind the ball and defended with six or seven against two in the first half, and that was obviously a big deal," Saville said. "They marked Kelsey, so there was always someone in her hip pocket. It was a good strategy. I don't if it's good soccer or not, but strategy wise a win is a win.

"There's no reason if they have six or seven defenders and one forward why we should be getting scored on three times. We were a little soft in the back and we allowed them to score what I thought were three terrible goals. They came to play with a lot more heart and intensity than we did today. The good news is we get to see them again."

Lorenz was two minutes away from picking up her seventh shutout of the season, but on the Raiders' seventh corner kick of the game, Gomer knocked in a rebound that was rattling around. Lorenz recorded seven saves in the win.

"The defense was solid. We kind of had a brain fart at the end and let one in," Faker said. "Defense has been strong all year. I think we've given up four goals all year in league."

Peacon had six saves in just her second full game in goal for the Raiders.

Reed (2-3-1, 2-2 HDL) is back in action Tuesday at Reno. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Spanish Springs (7-2-1, 4-1 HDL) has a bye Tuesday, but will return to the pitch at McQueen Saturday.
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