Cowgirls rope Bison, 5-0
In the first half, the Southwest Guilford girls soccer team appeared headed for another frustrating game in which its opportunities failed to yield results. In the second half, however, it finally broke through in a big way.
The Cowgirls scored all five of their goals in the second half — including three in the opening 11 minutes — to pull away from crosstown rival High Point Central for a 5-0 win Thursday in Piedmont Triad 4A Conference play at the High Point Athletic Complex.
“Obviously it feels good to have balls go in the net,” Southwest coach Rob Szitas said with a laugh. “Once we got one, I figured the jitters would go away and a couple more would follow. We were fortunate there and were able to follow that up and expose them in the back a little more.”
Samantha Wang scored two goals to lead the Cowgirls (5-2-3, 3-2 PTC) while Brianna O’Connor, Kristan Edwards and Katie Sterling each scored one. Courtney Casterline, Maggie Clark, Jessica Taylor and Megan Shina each tallied one assist.
Southwest controlled possession for good chunks of the first half but were limited to only a few good offensive opportunities. In the second half, however, it got to the offensive third much better, pressured the Bison defense and capitalized on more dangerous scoring chances.
“It was great,” said Wang, a sophomore midfielder. “We just needed something to motivate us more, get us to actually put more balls in the net. I guess it was just the fact that if we know one person can do it, then the rest of us can do it too.”
For Central (3-6, 1-4 PTC), the overall effort was strong, coach Kate Finch said. In the first half, the Bison limited the Cowgirls to mainly possession in the middle third while creating a little offensive pressure of their own. Defensive breakdowns in the second half, however, were problematic.
“I thought we played solid,” Finch said. “We matched up well with them in the first half. I think we just had some breakdowns late in the game that cost us some goals. Just players running through unmarked, standing around. Just mistakes. ...
“We might not be as skilled as other teams, like this one, but we match up well athletically and can run. We had five or six players who had excellent games. Caroline Giles played phenomenally. She was just money every time she touched the ball. Susie Griffin played really well too.”
Early in the second half, O’Connor took a pass on the right side of the box, quickly eluded the Central goalkeeper and scored in the open net with 36:33 left to break the tie. Then, Wang lofted a long shot into the wind that just tipped off the goalkeeper’s fingers and into the net with 31:51 left.
Three minutes later, Edwards, getting behind the defense, took a pass from Maggie Clark at the top of the box and scored the breakaway goal with 29:00 left. Wang added her second goal with 17:15 left on a through-ball in the box, and Katie Sterling finished off a corner kick with 2:20 left.
Loren Sterling made two saves in goal for Southwest, while Mary Bryan Smith made 10 saves for Central. Following spring break next week, both teams return to action Tuesday, April 9, with the Cowgirls hosting Parkland and the Bison visiting Ragsdale.