It didn’t take long for St. James to establish dominance over LAMP on Friday.
Haley Jolly scored two goals and Tessa Evans had a goal and an assist as the Trojans blanked LAMP 5-0 in the first round of the Class 4A-5A girls soccer playoffs at Carlisle Field.
Before the game, St. James girls’ soccer coach Charlie Brightwell could be heard getting his team ready and focused on the start to their playoff run.
“We’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity this year,” Brightwell said. “We had two knee injuries this season and these girls just keep battling. They’re very resilient.”
St. James was in control of possession throughout the game, and LAMP was unable to string passes together.
The Trojans (12-4) struck first as Lauren Talkington took a pass from Evans and scored from the left side to give St. James a 1-0 lead with 36:52 left in the first half.
LAMP (5-10) had a chance with 27:45 left in the half with a corner kick taken by Carmen Saunders, but Sarah Golden’s attempted shot missed wide.
Ten minutes later, Saunders attempted a shot from just outside the box, but St. James goalkeeper Madison Olszewski made the save.
“We’ve been working on being a good possession team,” Brightwell said. “In the first half, we couldn’t really keep the ball. In the second half, we were finally able to open up some spaces and did a better job finishing.”
The Golden Tigers made their first playoff appearance. Tigers goalkeeper Deja Chappell made six saves. The Tigers only got three shots on goal for the game.
LAMP’s best chance to score in the second half came with about 30 seconds remaining, but Saunders’ free kick went over the net.
“We weren’t intimidated,” LAMP coach Bekah Gordon said. “I’m proud that we did not back down. We just needed to finish touches, and St. James is a great team. We had a few chances at the end.”
Jolly got the Trojans on the board early in the second half with an unassisted goal past the LAMP defense with 37:31 remaining. Brooke Engles nailed a free kick into the net from 30 yards out with 16:27 left. Jolly and Evans added the final two goals for St. James.
The Trojans advance to take on the winner of the Trinity-Brewbaker Tech game in the second round on Tuesday. St. James split with Trinity and its game with Brew Tech was rained out.
“They’re both great teams,” Brightwell said. “They both have a lot of experience. We’ve got to keep the ball and keep attacking. Defensively, we’ve got to keep squeezing the field and cutting off opportunities.”