Lydia Roberts scored two goals and Hannah Beebe and Shannon Szedlak one each to lead Haslett to a 4-0 win over St. Johns in a battle for second place in the CAAC Red and a spot in the CAAC Gold Cup girls soccer tournament on Tuesday.
The Vikings (8-1-1 overall, 4-1 CAAC Red) set the tone early, scoring in the first six minutes of the game and defending with confidence for the entire contest, not allowing a single Redwing shot on goal.
“Our kids really stepped up and played tough today,” Haslett coach Jack Vogel said. “They earned it, St. Johns is a tough team and we knew it was going to be a barnburner today. It’s a big confidence booster for us.”
Beebe scored that first goal, heading in a cross by Roberts from the left wing, and returned the favor on the second 10 minutes later, sending Roberts in clean on goal with a clinical through ball, which elicited an equally clinical finish.
St. Johns had their best chance of the game with about 13 minutes left in the first half, when Sarah Drury worked free of three defenders on the left wing and sent in a dangerous cross that was put out for a corner kick, but not by much, inches away from being a Haslett own goal.
Elle Radke set up Roberts’s second goal with another inch-perfect pass though the Redwing defense that Roberts banked in off the far post from a sharp angle to make the score 3-0 with 5:52 left in the first half.
“We got beat on a couple of breakaways early in the game, and that kind of set the stage,” St. Johns coach Kim Brewbaker said. “We just had a tough time coming back from that.
“We played with them in the second half, but things just got away from us in the first half.”
The Redwings (8-2, 3-2) did have more of the ball in the second half but never really threatened to score, due in large part to the play of Haslett outside backs Hannah Wood and Victoria Surian, who saw to it that any St. Johns possession came to nothing in the attacking third.
“We were strong, but in that part of the field we had difficulty matching up,” Brewbaker said. “When we mounted an attack their back line was very fast, and we had a hard time getting around them.”
Szedlak put the game on ice immediately after a long spell of St. Johns possession, drilling a shot from 25 yards out into the upper corner of the post to the left of Redwing keeper Hannah Trevino with 10:42 left in the contest.
“To get four against St. Johns, we feel really good about that, they’re tough to play against,” Vogel said. “Before this game, I would have said that we’re making progress at kind of a slow rate, but today I thought we stepped up in a big way.”
Despite the loss, Brewbaker said that his team still has something to play for in the CAAC Cup.
“We were runners-up in the Silver Cup last year, so we’re going for the win this year,” he said.