Forest Lake Christian soccer advances with first-round victory
Jessica Raskin led Forest Lake Christian’s soccer squad in scoring with 15 goals this season. But on Tuesday, in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoff opener against Golden Sierra, the Falcon junior could only lend her support from the sideline.
A severely sprained ankle was one of the few things able to stop the Central Valley Christian League most valuable player from finding the net this spring.
The Falcons, however, found enough offense to get past the visiting Grizzlies by a 3-2 count, moving on to the section semifinals for the second straight season.
The match marked the third meeting this year between the Falcons and Grizzlies, who split a pair of matches earlier this spring.
After surrendering a breakaway goal to Golden Sierra in the early going, FLC came back with two unanswered scores by halftime.
“We just had to remain composed after that first goal,” said FLC coach Alane Burke. “I told the girls, it was a playoff game and anything could happen.”
FLC senior forward Ellia Meade knotted things at 1-1 after breaking away for a goal off a pass lofted up top from Shelby Lowe.
Freshman Kacie McGeary then gave the Falcons their first lead on a long shot from the left sideline. McGeary’s arching shot fell over the outstretched hands of the Golden Sierra goalkeeper for a 2-1 margin.
“We’ve been working on our outside kids taking those shots,” Burke said. “You know, we lost Jessica, so we’ve been telling them that everybody has to be ready to take the shot. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be afraid to take that shot.”
Another freshman Falcon also took that message to heart and hit paydirt. Christa Weisman sent a shot from the right sideline over the top and into the net for a 3-1 score after the half.
“I just wanted to make the right set up and I looked up and had the confidence (to take the shot),” Weisman said. “We’re so excited. We needed to play our hardest We needed to give everything we had.
“We did that and that’s what happens.”
FLC (11-6-3), the Central Valley Christian League champions, dominated most of the match with 20 shots on goal to 10 shots taken by the Grizzlies (14-6), who finished second the Golden Empire League.
The Falcon defenders made life easy on Morghan Pomeroy, their freshman goalkeeper, in the first half. Golden Sierra got just three look at the goal before the break, including the opening score by sophomore Vanessa Liddicoat.
After the half, the Grizzlies turned the heat up on Pomeroy, but found the net just once on seven shots on goal. Liddicoat’s rebound goal brought the match to within 3-2 with about 15 minutes remaining, but the Grizzlies could not even the score.
In Thursday’s semifinal, FLC will host Le Grand, a 2-0 winner against Sacramento Country Day. A win there would vault the Falcons to the Division VI section championship match. Last spring, FLC fell 1-0 to Modesto Christian in the Division V final.
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4240.
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