EVERETT — Thursday night’s girls soccer game between Kamiak and Jackson couldn’t have been more different than the season-opening games the teams played Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the two squads combined to score 16 goals and shut out their opponents. Jackson defeated Lynnwood 11-0 and Kamiak beat Cascade 5-0.
Thursday the teams combined to score just one goal and it belonged to the Knights, who stayed unbeaten with a 1-0 victory over the Timberwolves.
Both teams had very few offensive chances in the first half until the Knights broke through in the 25th minute. After a Jackson foul, sophomore defender Amanda Gonzalez took a free kick from 27 yards out and netted her second free-kick goal of the season.
Gonzalez, who is left-footed, placed the ball perfectly in the upper right corner of the goal. The shot didn’t even draw a save attempt from Jackson goalkeeper Callie Vanaelst.
“She is a lefty and I think they were expecting a right-footed kick so the wall wasn’t positioned right and she was able to squirt it in the side,” Kamiak head coach Beth Stewart said. “The keeper was kind of hidden by the wall so (Gonzalez) just had a straight shot at the goal so it was super easy for her.”
Kamiak seemed to control the pace in the first half, but the Timberwolves came into the second half energized.
Jackson controlled the possession and had the majority of the scoring opportunities over the final 40 minutes of the game.
“It’s disappointing to lose, but it was night and day to how we played in the first half and the way we played in the second half,” Jackson head coach Jesslyn Kellerman said. “We came out in the second half and the girls did exactly what we asked them to do and we just got unlucky and didn’t finish. The (Kamiak) goalkeeper made some great saves, but we didn’t have the luck on our side tonight.”
Stewart said she held a couple players out in the second half because of nagging injuries, forcing her to go into a defensive mindset. Couple Kamiak’s cautious defensive approach with a Jackson team that was furiously attacking in search of the tying goal and it made for a stressful second half for Stewart and the Knights.
As opposed to the scoring fests each team enjoyed earlier in the week, the defensive battle was a tough adjustment in the early minutes of the game.
“I noticed with the girls it took them a good 15 minutes,” Stewart said. “They were holding the ball too long. You have a lot more time in the games where you win (by a large margin), so they start dribbling around people and got a little too casual, so you definitely have to change that mindset and you have to get rid of the ball quicker.”
A defensive battle was just what Kellerman expected, though it was an adjustment for her team as well.
“We knew and we were looking forward to that,” she said. “We knew this game was going to be really tough. I think in the first few minutes it kind of took us a while to get used to that because we didn’t have that kind of high pressure on Tuesday. But I think we responded really well.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Goals – Amanda Gonzalez (Kamiak). Goalkeepers – Kamiak: Shannon Peth. Jackson: Callie Vanaelst. Records – Kamiak 2-0-0 league, 2-0-0 overall; Jackson 1-1-0, 1-1-0.