Lebanon — It was a key Sagamore Conference match-up Wednesday night when the only two undefeated girls soccer teams met in Lebanon.
Unfortunately for the host Tigers, Tri-West showed why they have dominated the conference in recent years, winning the game 3-0 and handing Lebanon its first conference loss.
“I have watched them play twice this season and this was the best I have seen them play,” Lebanon head coach Rachel Becker said. “I am proud that our girls never let up and played hard the entire game, but Tri-West came out the better team today.”
Tri-West improved to 4-0 in the conference, while Lebanon dropped to 2-1.
The Bruins also already have defeated one of the other top teams in the conference in Danville. Becker said she knew that the margin for error in the last few conference games would not be high for the Tigers.
“We have been looking at these conference games very competitively,” Becker said. “We have been scouting as best we can and have set our sights high and we aren’t going to stop that. We aren’t going pull back and say ‘it’s over.’ We are going to come back and fight for these next couple of games and go for wins. Every game we have we are going to fight.”
Lebanon controlled the majority of the first half but couldn’t capitalize on a couple of early-scoring chances.
Tri-West got on the board first with 7:21 remaining in the half on a goal by Hayley Stroup.
The Tigers nearly scored 45 seconds later when Katie Curtis hit the outside of the post with a shot, but after that Stroup scored again with just less than 5 minutes left in the half.
“Honestly, I wasn’t really deflated and the girls weren’t either,” Becker said of the second goal. “We have seen a couple teams come back against us in the second half, so we weren’t looking at it like the game was over. We talked at halftime about having possession and stepping in better — and we still have to work on that — but I think the optimism was still strong.”
For more of this story, read Thursday’s Lebanon Reporter.