The Washington Catholic Lady Cardinals dropped their home opener to the Lady Chargers, 4-1, in Rees Field. In a game that saw the possession control shifting back forth, the Lady Chargers were able to score two goals each half to keep the Cardinals at bay.

The first half saw attacks coming from both teams as the Lady Cardinals worked the ball through the midfield and peppered the goal with shot attempts. Juniors Ally Cline, Claire Fox, and Ellie Rutledal, as well as freshman Mya Cline and Ella Grissom, all recorded shots on goal but couldn’t find the back of the net. Mya Cline appeared to have the go-ahead goal for WC at the 20-minute mark but found the post and the rebound was cleared by the defense.

“Early on in the game we controlled the ball and pace of play well,” WC coach Austin Deem said. “You could see when fatigue started to play a role because we weren’t meeting our passes as well, we weren’t winning as many 50-50 balls, and we didn’t get the same attacking runs that we had going early.”

The Lady Chargers pieced together a couple of fastbreak runs that ended in scores. The first goal for Pike Central came at the 11:34 minute mark, as a breakaway led to a strong, low shot into the back of the WC net. At the 6:00 mark of the first half, the Lady Chargers again found the ball with some separation behind the WC defense as they knocked in a second goal. The Chargers took a 2-0 lead into halftime.

The Cardinals came out with some fire to open the second half. One and half minutes into the play, Claire Fox took the ball and diced through the Charger defense to get some separation at the left corner of the 18-yard line. Fox lobbed a left-footed shot over the outstretched hands of the goalkeeper to cut the lead down to 2-1. The Cardinal attack continued but was repelled by the Charger defense.

Pike Central was able to extend the lead back to two goals, as the Charger attacker went one-on-one with the defense before launching a shot from outside of the 18-yard line that snuck passed WC goalkeeper Adeline O’Brian. The final score came at the 2:32 minute mark as a cross into the penalty area pinballed around and eventually trickled into the WC goal.

“The outcome obviously wasn’t what we wanted, but there were a lot of good things that we did tonight,” Deem continued. “We are going to get back to it in practice and work on some of our weak points. We aren’t going to let this get us down or stop us from accomplishing our season goals. I thought Adeline did a great job in the net tonight. She has stepped up in a big way when we were in need of a keeper, and she is showing great improvement every day. We finally have Claire Fox back from injury, and she came in huge in her first game back. We will look to her a lot for leadership this season.”

Washington Catholic has a quick turnaround as they travel to NE Dubois on Thursday looking to take on the Lady Jeeps.

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