STERLING — The Sterling Golden Warriors avenged a 2-0 loss at the Orion tournament by dominating the Princeton Tigresses and gaining a 3-0 victory.
Sterling Coach Brian Cebula said the Warriors’ home turf at Roscoe Eades Stadium was a difference maker.
“I was very proud of the girls and how they controlled the game,” he said. “We’re so use to playing on the turf and the speed of it. We took advantage of the size of it.”
The Golden Warriors were led by their dynamic duo of senior midfielder Allie Johnson and junior forward Kaitlin Bauer.
Bauer cracked the scoreboard first in the 28th minute of the contest. That seemed to wake the Tigresses up, as for the next 10 minutes, they put consistent pressure on the Warrior goal.
But all momentum was taken away with just seconds left in the half. With only a minute to go, a surprising offsides call just past midfield halted what looked to be a Tigress breakaway. Then with just 12.37 ticks left before the break, Johnson sneaked a goal past junior goalie Kelly Schmidt to give them some breathing room going into the second half.
“Having the wind made a big difference,” Cebula said. “Especially being able to use it and get those goals. If you have the wind and you don’t score any, it gives the other team higher hopes.”
Even though the Tigresses had the wind at their backs in the second half, they could not seem to mount any sort of attack. Their kicks were long, and they could not catch up to the ball, while the Warriors controlled the ball and forced Schmidt and the defense to be on their toes.
Johnson then sealed the victory with a goal in the 65th minute to put the Warriors up 3-0. The Warriors move to 7-9-2 with the victory.
Tigress Coach Ed Young didn’t have much positive to say about the game.
“You expect to come in and compete, and I don’t think we really competed tonight,” he said. “They beat us to every ball. I don’t think we won a single one. They out hustled us, out looked us. It’s hard to swallow.”
The Tigresses had to pick themselves up quickly for one of their toughest match ups against Peoria Christian Friday night at Bradley in the annual Kick-It for Cancer event (score of that match was not available at press time).
Senior captain Lexi Marselle encouraged her teammates, saying “We need to keep our heads up, and tomorrow’s a new game.”
“Keep a positive attitude above everything else, and we can get back into it I think,” added junior captain Liz Stites.
• In the junior varsity prelim, the Tigresses came away 4-0 victors with goals from Sheila Ferguson, Mallory Wheeler, Araia Hicks and Devon Scott. The underclassman take a 6-0-1 record into the freshman tourney at Rock Island on Saturday.
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