Girls soccer: La Salle-Peru spreads the wealth at Princeton

Princeton's Olivia Sandoval attacks L-P keeper Lily Higgins Tuesday night at Bryant Field. Sandoval scored the Tigresses' only goal in a 6-1 loss

PRINCETON – The La Salle-Peru girls soccer team likes to share the wealth when it comes to scoring goals.

That was their ticket to success Tuesday evening at Bryant Field in Princeton. Five players scored in a 6-1 nonconference win over the host Tigresses.

“I’m proud the way my team has been playing, making combination plays. And proud seeing different girls score goals, which is a pleasure to see,” L-P coach Christen Pappas said. “We don’t want one girl out scoring goals. I think we are an unselfish group. They work hard. They work unselfishly from end to end.

“Yesterday we scored eight goals against Ottawa. Tonight it was six. Tomorrow we’re going to hopefully keep this ball rolling.”

Abigal Poole led the Cavaliers (9-6-1) with two goals, and Nica Hein, Vicky Tejada, Litzy Lopez and Danice Scoma added one each.

Center mids Lopez, a senior captain, and Vicky Tejada, a sophomore, like the team game the Cavs are playing and said it makes them a better team.

“I just love how we all connect and understand each other and support each other,” Tejada said. “Unlike other teams when they scream at each other when they can’t do something right. For us, we support each other and accept our mistakes and get better. I really like that. It makes it more fun.”

“Every game is something new,” Lopez said. “I feel like we all have our turn scoring, and it’s nice that it’s not just one player. It’s a team effort.”

Lopez’s goal came late in the first half to give the Cavs a 5-1 lead.

“It felt good,” she said. “I saw the opportunity, and I just took it. I was hoping for the best.”

Scoma, who also had two assists, capped the scoring with a goal with 12:03 left in the second half.

Princeton junior keeper Maddie Oertel defends the goal Tuesday night at Bryan Field.

Freshman Olivia Sandoval scored Princeton’s lone goal of the night in the first half.

Princeton coach David Gray, whose team fell to 5-10-2, was much more pleased with the Tigresses’ second-half play than their first.

“We made some tactical adjustments, which helped defensively,” he said. “I think we also did a better job holding the ball up front in midfield. A little possession can relieve some pressure, too.

“I think we responded from the first half disappointment and gave them a little better stuff in the second half. I think you go home feeling a little better about your performance when you can respond and give them a match, for sure.”

Gray said the Tigresses’ lack of converting their chances, as it did in a 0-0 tie Monday at DePue, hurt them again.

“I think we had a lot of times we got behind their defense and then we find the goalie or we miss-kick and it goes out,” he said. “That’s something we need to work on, because I think we got behind them a lot tonight. We created a lot of those opportunities to get on goal, but we just don’t have that finishing quality right now.”

Pappas said the Cavaliers are adjusting well to their new 3-5-2 lineup, which she said can be difficult.

“It’s because I trust my defenders so much. They work hard. They don’t stop,” she said. “They’re getting more comfortable protecting the middle more and letting outsides be, which is a tough way to play, but it creates discipline within each player.”

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