Lady Rams soccer opens season with a shutout

By Dale Draughn - For The Tribune

PILOT MOUNTAIN — After a rain out and a game being cancelled due to the wind, the Starmount Lady Rams finally took the field for their 2018 soccer season opener. On Wednesday night, the Lady Rams traveled to East Surry for a non-conference encounter with the Lady Cardinals and registered a solid shutout victory by a score of 6-0.

“The Lady Cardinals brought the pressure and intensity, we got too complacent and maybe a little too over confident and tired. We bent, but we did not break and I was glad to see out defense get a test,” said Draughn. “We are still trying to find the right combination, but I thought we looked good. We have a few things to fix, but it was good to get out on the field and play a real game, not just practice against our JV team.”

The Lady Rams dictated play in the first half of the game en route to a 5-0 halftime lead over their host. Molly Maske scored the Lady Rams’ first goal at the 30:07 mark of the first half off the assist of Irene Villanueva Adame. Maske then scored again with 18:40 remaining to increase the Lady Rams lead to 2-0 off the assist of Hailey Gomez.

Gomez scored an unassisted goal of her own two minutes later for a 3-0 Lady Rams advantage. Maggie Freed scored back to back goals within a three-minute time span off the assist of Isabel Najera and Molly Maske for the 5-0 lead heading into halftime.

“In the second half, the Lady Cardinals came to play and adjusted to what they Lady Rams did the first half, we did not adjust as well,” said Coach Draughn of his Lady Rams. “Neal changed his goalie and moved some players around and they stepped it up in the second half. The first half the ball rarely made it on our side of the field and they only had one shot on goal.”

The Lady Rams outshot the Lady Cardinals on goal by a count of 19 to 3. The Lady Rams’ goalkeeping combo of Stephanie Brown (one save) and Emily Parker (two saves) combined for the shutout as well as the rest of the Starmount defense.

“We have things we need to fix and work on, but it is still early in the season and they are fixable. The girls are very coachable as well and that makes our coaching staff’s job easier,” said Draughn.

The win improves the Lady Rams to 1-0 and with the loss the Lady Cardinals drop to 0-2.

By Dale Draughn

For The Tribune