Falcons Shore up goal Forest Lake Christian nets berth in semifinals
Peppering the pipes with 32 shots on goal Tuesday afternoon, Forest Lake Christian dominated its playoff-opening soccer match in every facet of the contest except one: the scoreboard
However, FLC won 1-0.
The vast majority of the match was played on FLC’s offensive end of the pitch and while Falcons goalkeeper Morghan Pomeroy barely broke a sweat, Denair was still there.
The Falcons struck early and often, but each shot was just off the mark.
“It felt like there was a magnet out there sending the ball away,” FLC coach Alane Burke said. “But it was just a matter of time. I knew it was going to happen.”
It happened in the 24th minute of the second half, when Jessica Raskin passed off to fellow midfielder Logan Burke, who then found forward Katie Shore for the game’s only score.
“I didn’t have a lot of shots,” Shore said after FLC had earned the win and right to advance into Thursday’s semifinals. “What I was thinking, while watching us miss to each side and up high, was that if I got an opportunity I needed to remember to have the composure to place it.
“When I got it, I took a touch, took a peek and it went right there, where I was wanting it to go.”
Shore’s shot, launched from more than 30 yards away, was a line drive just over the outstretched hand of Denair keeper Annissa Turpin, who had swatted several of the same shots harmlessly away throughout the match. Turpin, who totaled 14 saves on the day, smiled about her play afterward but wasn’t happy about the one that got away.
“I felt bad about it, the one that went in,” Turpin said. “I was really surprised how much they attacked, but my defense did pretty well.”
FLC coach Alane Burke said she was especially impressed with the Coyotes’ sweeper Yadira Garcia, who provided some relief for Turpin in the face of the relentless Falcon attack.
Though the final score was not indicative of how the match was played, the Falcon coaching staff said they were glad to have a tight first round contest rather than a walk in the park, considering their semifinal showdown will also likely be more of the former than the latter.
Thursday’s match will be against the winner of the first-round battle between Faith Christian (16-4) and Capital Christian (14-0-1).
The Falcons, who will fight for a third-straight appearance in the section championship match, wouldn’t mind a rematch – albeit a year later – with Capital Christian, who edged FLC 2-1 in the 2007 championship match.
The Cougars are still largely powered by Brittany Flanagan, who is averaging three scores per match this season and set up the two title game goals against FLC with assists last spring.
“In the back of my mind, I kind of always thought that we’re going to play Capital again,” said Shore, a senior who twice has been turned away from a section title. “This would be my third time going to section and I don’t want to lose again.
“We have the most talented team. It’s really actually an honor to play for this team. We have so many good players. But not only are they great soccer players, they’re great people, too.”
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