Falcon freshman busts slump against Bears

By Michael Smith
Special to The Examiner

Van Horn girls soccer coach Zack Wilson said Adrianna Lara was frustrated because she was on a “two-game slump” coming into Thursday’s home contest with William Chrisman.

The talented freshman ended her slump against the Bears with a pair of goals to help the unbeaten Falcons capture a 3-1 victory.

“She really came out of her slump,” Wilson said. “I know she was frustrated a couple of games ago. She’s a striker. She wants to score goals. I’ve been telling the girls, ‘Take advantage of your opportunities because it’s going to be Adrianna’s here before too long. And it came here against Chrisman.

“She’s quick and she’s fast. She also has a really tough shot.”

That’s why Chrisman head coach Justin Schmidt talked to his team about stopping Lara before the match. The game plan was actually to slow down Lara and Van Horn sophomore Anya Linstrom.

“We kept Anya in check for the most part,” Schmidt said. “Anya is their big playmaker. Adrianna is a great player. She gets a lot of feeds from Anya.”

Lara’s first goal came in the first half when a through ball from a teammate deflected off a Chrisman defender and she got the carom and scored for a 1-0 lead.

The Bears (2-3) tied the game late in the first half when a Van Horn player lost the ball in the sun and was called for a hand ball in the penalty box. Junior forward Emma Gervy took advantage when she punched in a penalty kick, and the 1-1 held until halftime.

Lara put her team up for good in the 55th minute when she punched a shot near the right sideline, parallel from the right side of the Bears penalty box. She shot bounced off the bottom of the crossbar near the upper left corner and went in for a 2-1 Falcons edge.

“No. I thought it was going to be over,” Lara said of the shot. “Sometimes I go for the corner, and it went in that time.”

Van Horn (4-0) junior forward Cordilia Payne gave the Falcons a little bit of a cushion when she scored after a couple of Falcon shots were deflected by Chrisman goalkeeper Kennis Wohletz. Payne gathered a rebound and collided with Wohletz and another Bear defender but simultaneously put in a close-range shot for a two-goal lead.

“I thought the keeper was going to kick it out like normal,” Payne said. “Anya kicked it, and it bounced off the keeper and I stuck my leg out and got a goal. It hurt, but it went in.”

The Falcons controlled possession for most of the game as they continued their hot start to the season.

“Our possession and our first touches have really helped this year,” Payne said.

Added Wilson: “(Payne) is a very physical presence. She created a lot of opportunities in this game because of her non-stop pressuring. She pressured the whole game. That goal she scored was pure effort.”

For Chrisman, Schmidt said his team couldn’t take advantage when it had the ball.

“They had a little bit more possession, but I didn’t feel like they were too dangerous at times,” Schmidt said of Van Horn. “We did not, on the other, take advantage of our attacking opportunities. Hopefully we can fix that moving forward.”