After six years of waiting, it took the Lee girl’s soccer team just three minutes to guarantee their 1-0 win against Spotswood.
On Wednesday night the Lee Ladies snapped a six-year losing streak against the Blazers, a streak that included 2015’s foray into the ‘slaughter rule,’ thanks to a Lindsey Bosserman goal in the 37th minute.
Lee scored early in the 37th minute before the game even had time to settle down.
Sara Sabo forced her way down the left flank and crossed a bouncing ball into the box. The Blazer defense didn’t close down Bosserman and she struck a volley past the stranded Spotswood goalkeeper Isabelle VanHuss.
“It’s always good to go up early,” said Lee head coach Paul Lightner. “We had two really good goalscoring opportunities and scored one. I think they had four, the last one being with a minute and a half left, I think they had twice as many good scoring opportunities, but it’s always good to get that first goal.”
The first goal was ultimately the only goal despite numerous chances for both sides. Spotswood hit the crossbar twice in a row in the first half, and some fans thought the second rebound had dropped in, but the referee ruled it had not crossed the line.
For Spotswood, Rosie Cedeno regularly menaced the Lee backline with her pace, and English Jackson and Blair McGloon tried to pull the defense apart with their long diagonal passes, but the back four stood strong.
Gleaves was strong on defense yet again, settling crosses and clearing them with such force that she actually hyper-extended her leg in the process. Morrison, Rizzo, and Skerrett all threw themselves into their defensive task, sometimes literally. In the first half Morrison put her body in the way of two shots in a row and in the last minute of the game Rizzo made an all important challenge in the box to deny Spotswood an open look on goal.
For her part, goalkeeper Anna Lightner made 20 saves to preserve the shutout, helping her team fend off waves of heavy pressure in the second half to earn the long-awaited win.
“I thought Anna really grew up tonight in the goal,” Lightner said. “This was her best game by far, a lot of great saves.”
Lee have now won two of their three matches this week, including Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Waynesboro. After two games in two days, the team has only one day of rest before they face Turner Ashby on Friday. It’s a grueling week, but Lightner has no doubt his team will emerge even stronger than before.
“Games like this really help you when you play,” Lightner said. “I think Spotswood was more skilled than we were. They had a lot more shots, a lot more opportunities, but that just shows the resiliency of this team.”