by Richard Creaser
copyright the Chronicle 10-5-2013
ORLEANS — The Lake Region Rangers girls varsity soccer squad improved to 7-2 on the season following a decisive 10-0 win over the visiting Winooski Spartans on Friday afternoon. The loss marked the sixth consecutive shutout the Spartans have endured since opening the season a perfect 4-0.
Lake Region’s win was particularly vital for team morale following a 2-1 loss to Oxbow on Tuesday. While Coach Brad Urie never intended to run up the score, having so many of the Rangers score helped restore his team’s confidence, he said.
“It can be good for the team to have a win like this every now and then,” Coach Urie said. “It gave me a chance to put out my reserves, to let them go out and play without too much pressure. Seeing them out there, making those kinds of plays, you’d never guess that I had five freshmen and two sophomores on the field.”
Tori-Lynne Adams started off the scoring barrage pounding one into the twine with 34:47 remaining in the first half. Megan Menard added some insurance 26 seconds later to give the home team Rangers a 2-0 lead. Adams would record her second goal of the game converting a pass from Tyrah Urie to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead with 31:37 remaining in the half.
Haley Kennedy would knock in a goal followed by Urie’s first and Jenna Charland’s first to round out the scoring in the first half. The Rangers played much of the final 15 minutes of the first using primarily bench reserves and JV call-ups like Charland and Margo Foster.
“Our passing was really good,” Charland said after the game. “We had good talk and handled the ball really well.”
Coach Urie gave his reserve players a long leash, allowing them to play longer shifts. He replaced them only as they tired out, he said. The caliber of plays they performed and executed impressed him, he added.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Celeste Lussier,” Coach Urie said. “She was constantly communicating the plays, getting the girls set up where they needed to be. She showed the kind of leadership we need from our seniors if we want to take our game to the next level.”
On-field communication will be key if Lake Region is to seriously challenge for the Division II title, Coach Urie said. Communication is what enables players to get into position, know where their teammates are and execute the plays, he said.
“We’ve got the skills, we’ve got the athleticism to have a winning team,” Coach Urie said. “We have a bit of maturation left to build and communication is what we still need to improve. It’s putting together all of those things that makes for a good soccer team.”
Tyrah Urie would open the second half with her second goal a mere 21 seconds in. Katie Menard would add another goal two minutes later with Charland’s second goal and Nicole Roy’s first rounding out the scoring for the Rangers.
Coach Urie expressed mixed feelings about the final score. By using his reserves and JV call-ups for nearly two-thirds of the game, he provided Winooski with its best chance to stage a comeback. By the same token, he didn’t want to insult his opponents by reigning in his players too much.
“This is high school varsity soccer,” Coach Urie said. “I can’t put the girls out there and tell them not to take the shots, make the passes, play the game. As a coach I do what I can to manage the play but I can’t expect the girls not to play the game.”
Charland agreed with her coach’s assessment. Taking it easy on the Spartans would not have provided Winooski with the challenge they needed to improve as a team, she said. Players and teams grow stronger when they hang together through good times and bad, she said.
“They really worked hard and stayed together as a team,” Charland said of the Spartans. “When you have a game like that it’s easy to get angry and start blaming each other or getting mad at us but they didn’t do that. They stayed positive and fought right until the end.”
The Rangers (7-2) return to action hosting Hazen (2-5-2) on Monday at 4 p.m. at Lake Region.
Contact Richard Creaser at email@example.com