Eagles grounded in 2nd half by Raiders
When kickoff took place Monday between Northeast-8 Conference rivals South Range and Hubbard, it was a mild, dry 70 degrees, which was perfect fall weather for girls soccer at Hubbard Memorial Stadium.
By the time the match ended, a torrential downpour that started midway through the second half left fans and players alike leaving as quickly as possible to seek drier pastures.
The sudden change could also describe the Raiders’ offense, which turned a 1-0 halftime lead into a 4-0 rout of the Eagles, thanks in large part to Bree Kohler’s second-half hat trick.
“I’m happy with tonight’s win,” said South Range coach Kelsey Malenic. “We did have a little bit of a slow start, but I’m happy we figured it out.
“We’re all playing well, starting to make better decisions. We’re fixing our mistakes from earlier in the season, and I think it’s showing.”
South Range battled for the ball early on, and sophomore Gabby Lamparty found the back of the net with 26:08 to go in the first half.
“It felt good to get the confidence going,” Lamparty commented. “We’ve got to get rolling. We started off a little slow.”
After halftime, the sophomore made some adjustments.
“I knew that I had to start sharing the ball a little bit more,” she explained. “I needed to start finding my teammates, because I’m confident in them in finishing, and I felt like that was the adjustment we had to make.”
Kohler tallied a trio of goals in the second half, but hopes that the scoring could be distributed more next time.
“I’m excited that we won; I kind of wish that they would be more even, so everyone can score so we have more confidence going into playoffs,” Kohler said.
“But it feels good to be able to score when we need to.”
The senior finds it more difficult to score after lighting up the scoreboard a few times, but knows that it also opens up the field.
“I feel like it gets harder because more people get on you, which helps because then I can get Gabby the ball and other people can score, too.”
South Range (8-3) previously beat Hubbard earlier in the season at home, 7-1, and has won its last six matches. It was also the Raiders’ third shutout of the season.
Malenic views Lamprty and Kohler as the catalyst offensively.
“I’m very proud of them,” Malenic said. “Bree is going very well this year. Gabby and Bree both connect well. When they both click, the whole team clicks and it really makes a big difference.”
Hubbard, which fell to 5-5, had won its previous two matches. Eagles coach Josh MacMillan thought the loss was a step in the wrong direction.
“They just played harder than we did, and they wanted it more,” he said. “We just were very flat.
“(We’ve been) up and down like most. In the first five games, we were figuring stuff out like a lot of people. We had a lot of really, really just bad results from sloppy play, including one against them (South Range). The past four games, we played really well. Then today, we kind of reversed; we took a step back.”
Kohler thinks the Raiders could make a run in the tournament.
“Our team in general, I feel really goodabout it,” she said. “We have a lot of the girls who get along really well, and it’s fun to go to practice every day and see everyone. I’m just happy we get to play and, hopefully, we can make a run again.”