Liggett junior Danielle Lorant, left, played well during
the Knights’ two regional games. Photo by Renato Jamett
June 13, 2013University Liggett girls’ soccer team lost to a talented team from Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes last weekend, putting an end to one of the best seasons in recent history.
The Knights’ appearance in the regional final was made possible by the team’s 3-0 victory in the regional semifinal game over Plymouth Christian earlier in the week.
Senior Beth Ottosen found the back of the net after a pass from junior Ania Dow, and junior Danielle Lorant added two goals on assists from freshman Madison Jerome and sophomore Haley Neuenfeldt, respectively.
Junior Caitlin deRuiter earned the shutout in goal.
The 4-1 loss in the title game, although disappointing, featured some stellar defensive play. Juniors Sarah Edmonds and Kaitlin Vreeken played selflessly in front of their own goal, and sophomore Pasha Vreeken used great speed to shut down several scoring chances.
“Our defense held tough, and the midfield really helped a lot,” said head coach David Dwaihy after the title game. “Beth Ottosen had one of her better games in goal, too.
“There wasn’t much she could do on the goals that went in.”
The Knights held off a barrage of early attacks, but the first goal, given up halfway through the first half, seemed inevitable as the Lakers possessed the ball for the vast majority of the time.
“I thought we definitely reacted well to their early pressure,” said Dow.
A few scoring chances for the Knights seemed to give them life, especially as deRuiter battled for a few loose balls in front of the opposing net.
However, the Lakers responded with 13 minutes remaining in the half by scoring on a blazing shot that Ottosen had no chance of stopping.
Neuenfeldt hit the crossbar on a great shot taken off a free kick with 7:15 remaining, but the ball stayed out and the Lakers were able to stifle the opportunity.
“If that goes in at that point in the game, I think that would have been a huge mental boost for us and maybe it starts to put a little doubt in their minds,” said Dwaihy.
The Lakers added a goal two minutes into the second half that seemed to deflate the Knights’ spirits.
With 14:06 left in the second half, Edmonds was charged with a yellow card.
Her defense was desperately missed as the Lakers added a fourth goal with 6:07 left. Edmonds reentered the game shortly after.
The Knights’ only goal came with 5 minutes left as freshman Ellie Withers tapped home a great feed on a corner kick from senior Eleni Pitses.
“We had four seniors this year: Ariana Castillo (captain), Eleni Pitses, Ashley Webster, and Beth Ottosen. They were instrumental to our success both on and off the field,” said Dwaihy while reflecting on the season. “They were all great leaders, and they helped to create a culture where girls were supportive of one another.”
Dwaihy remains hopeful and believes that the program is on the right track.
“I think the future is really bright for the program, and I think that the girls coming back are going to take a lot from this game in particular and hopefully use it as motivation for next year,” he said.