Scoring has been a struggle for the Truman girls soccer team.
Coming into Thursday’s non-conference game against Winnetonka, the Patriots averaged just 1.27 goals per game and were shut out six times in 11 games.
And with a few players missing because of other school obligations, the offense could have sputtered. Truman junior midfielder Charley Burton and sophomore defender Merci Lessard made sure there were no struggles against the Griffins. They scored two goals each to lead the Patriots to a 6-0 win at home.
It was only the second time this season Truman had scored more than three goals in a game. And it was the most goals this season since it played Barstow in Pembroke Hill’s Kansas City Invitational, also a 6-0 victory.
“We were short on the bench, so we didn’t have many people,” Truman coach Manny Tovar said. “We moved some people around and Vivian Xayaphet got her first start at right back. Chloe (Maxey) was our left back. We usually have some other people there.”
“With what we had, I thought we did well. It took us a little bit to get going, but we did well after (the first goal).”
Truman is a team that utilizes straight runs to the goal rather than diagonal routes. And that was something that the Patriots worked on Thursday.
“It was a good opportunity to work on through balls and crosses,” Burton said. “And getting good touches and shots in.”
Burton got her team going in the 15th minute when she squeaked a direct free kick by Winnetonka goalkeeper Rana Ekilah.
Two minutes later, Burton sent a short cross to Lessard, who rainbowed a 15-footer over Ekilah’s head for a 2-0 lead.
Senior midfielder Katie Black blasted a beautiful shot from about 40 yards out for Truman’s third goal. Senior defender Alize Becerra scored right at the goalmouth shortly afterward, and Lessard made a close-range shot near the end of the first half.
Burton capped the scoring, taking her time after receiving a pass from Lessard and booting a slow roller to the back of the net.
“I was just following the ball,” Burton said. “I was there to clean up in case it got through.”
Tovar said he was pleased with the way Lessard and Burton shot the ball.
“They were both active,” Tovar said. “Charley is able to hit a long ball, so it makes her a bit more dangerous. She’s probably one of the more technically sound players we have.
“Sometimes she gets a little over anxious and powers through. Sometimes, you just have to shoot a firm ball.”
Truman held a 15-1 advantage in shots on goal and the Griffins’ first shot didn’t come until the 68th minute.