Streaks, Dragons fit to be tied
Allen Moody | Highlands TodayLAKE PLACID As the Sebring Blue Streaks and Lake Placid Green Dragons break in new players, there are going to be some ups-and-downs. That's what the pre-season schedule is for.
Published: November 3, 2012
Published: November 3, 2012
Both teams saw a few more ups than downs at Roger Scarborough Field in Lake Placid on Thursday, so perhaps it was fitting the game ended in a 3-all tie.
"I'll take a 3-3," said Lake Placid coach John Merlo. "We don't have our whole team. We only have five starters playing right now and overall, I think everybody did a good job for what we have."
After being blanked in their first two games, the Blue Streaks got on the scoreboard midway through the first half when Haylee Peters scored off a free kick from a little more than 25 yards out.
It took the Green Dragons less than four minutes to score the equalizer when Hannah Waller knocked in the rebound from a free kick, a feat she duplicated 10 minutes later to give the Green Dragons a 2-1 lead with 7:30 to go in the half.
Sebring's Lacey Watson tied the score with several minutes remaining in the half, only to see the Green Dragons retake the lead when Stephanie Bennett scored to make it 3-2 at halftime.
The Blue Streaks controlled much of the second half, but were unable to get another ball past Lake Placid goalkeeper Tamija Douglas.
"We and a new goalie and she did great," Merlo said of Douglas. "It's only her second game ever in her entire life, but we've been lucky at Lake Placid we can pick athletes from other sports and she's a softball player, a shortstop, and moves side-to-side, so I figured let's get her."
The Blue Streaks kept the pressure on and eventually were able to knot the score when Heather Bloesma got past the Lake Placid defense on a free kick and was able to put the ball in the back of the net with 13:30 left in the game.
"We finally started getting our foot on the ball at the other end," said Sebring coach Ritchie Birdsall. "We have a bunch of new people and you have to give it time to gel. I felt the score didn't indicate the game. Not taking anything away from them, because they're a great team, but I felt that we pressed very well and played a lot in their end."
It was the third game in four nights for the Blue Streaks and Birdsall said that can be tough on the players, especially after Destiny McCartney went out early with an injury.
"We played the last three-quarters of the game with only two subs," he said. "To play like that with only two subs, I'm proud of them."
Birdsall said his team will get better the more they play together and he was hopeful that Thursday was a big step in the right direction.
Merlo also believes that getting everybody on the pitch together will help his team improve.
"As a small school that's a problem we have, all our athletes are playing other sports," he said. "I feel once we get everybody together we should do pretty well. We should be strong this year and compete for the district title."
The Blue Streaks return to action on Monday and again will be playing three games in four nights, as they also have a home match with Tenoroc on Tuesday, followed by a road game at Lake Wales on Thursday.
The Green Dragons will return to action on Tuesday when they host Clewiston.
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