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Solon deflects Comets, 4-2

Even Mother Nature cannot deter the Lady Spartans
Solon senior Lauren Roeder lines up a score Monday, April 2, to put Solon up 2-0 before the half during a 4-2 win over the West Liberty Comets. (photo by Jeff Hess)

SOLON– Mother Nature cast a sideways glance at Solon on Monday, April 2, but it did not deter the Lady Spartans from starting the season with a win, closing out against West Liberty, on the windswept tundra of Spartan Stadium, 4-2.
“We had pretty much a completely new lineup (compared to) last year. Even the returning starters were in positions they may not have gotten much time playing last year,” Solon Head Coach John Tucker said. “Our expectation was, even with everything being new, we would play well together and work together as a team. I think we did that really well and it ended up with four goals by the end of the game.”
As Coach Tucker indicated early in the preseason, he was looking to experienced players and seniors to step up as scorers. Senior Brianna Smith rewarded his request less than eight minutes into the new season, putting the Spartans up, 1-0. It was Smith’s first goal for the Spartans following three seasons playing goalie.
Senior Lauren Roeder put in a goal with a little less than 1:20 remaining in the half, putting the Lady Spartans up 2-0. The Spartans built the first half lead playing with the wind, a cold one, firmly holding the corner flags aloft for the duration of the competition.
Both teams were allowed a reprieve, briefly, from the howling wind out of the east, before Solon played into the frigid blast in the second half.
Sophomore Sylvia Havlicek found the goal, for her first score as a Lady Spartan, with a little over 33:20 remaining in the second half, proving the Spartans had no trouble playing into the wind. She put in her second score of the game, a little more than three minutes later, to give Solon a 4-0 lead with a few ticks over 30 minutes unexpended in the game.
The Comets’ Sarah Steele scored twice for West Liberty, the first coming with slightly over three minutes remaining in the game, and a second time with about 2:15 displayed until the game’s expiration.
“I was not too concerned. The first goal was a fluke hand ball in the box. Those happen, and there is nothing you can do about it,” Coach Tucker said. “The second was just a matter of the ball ended up right on the girl’s foot at the right time… just a great shot by a good player who had the ball drop perfectly to her feet.”
Solid defense led by seniors Chandler DeWitt and Faye Düster along with several others kept the game out of the Comets’ reach.
“I knew we would be able to solidify our defense and hold it to just those two goals,” Coach Tucker added.
Havlicek led the Lady Spartans with two goals off six shots on the goal, Smith scored a goal on two attempts as did Roeder for the Spartans, Megan Tucker accumulated three assists with one shot on the goal, and Kinzie Pentico recorded one shot on the goal for the match.
The Lady Spartans were expected to host the South Tama Trojans on Friday, April 6.
“We played them really well last year. I think we know what to expect from them. I think we should to continue to work together well to carry the momentum from the West Liberty game into Friday,” Coach Tucker said.
He has an expectation of continued success for the team under re-construction.
“We are always contending for conference champs, and I expect no less this year. There will be the normal tough games with the other top contenders, but I think as long as we continue to work together, and work hard in practice, we will be successful this year,” he said. “The weather is not helping matters, but our work ethic has been great, even when we can’t get on the field.”