This was no ordinary prep girls’ soccer match.
A 30-minute delay of the start of the game, a red card 23 minutes in, an unusually long halftime, four shots that rung the post — of course, it had to be a rivalry game.
Despite all the oddities, Lynden topped Lynden Christian 2-0, courtesy of a first-half long-distance shot from Peyton Fullner and a second-half score from sophomore star Sierra Smith on Thursday, Sept. 24, at Lynden Christian High School.
“Well not only the late start, but it’s a 4:30 (p.m.) game. We’re used to starting at 4, so we always have our same routine and it gets messed up,” Lions coach Carlos Melendez said after the game. “We have a game plan and that gets messed up with the red card. The kids just responded.”
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Fullner’s 22nd-minute goal opened the scoring. The junior was a game-time decision, as she was dealing with a pulled calf and didn’t start, but knew she had to come in to help her team out, Melendez said.
Her presence was quickly made known when she received a pass from Andie Sahagian and blasted it from 30 yards out, watching it sail over the head of LC keeper Kaitlyn Heeringa and into the back of the net.
“That was pretty awesome seeing her involved with that long-distance goal,” Melendez said. “She does that all the time. She’s got a pretty powerful shot.”
Shortly after, Lynden defender Lily Bogart, who had a yellow card earlier in the match, was given a red card and sent off for a hard challenge. It left the Lions up 1-0 but down to just 10 players on the field.
“When something like that happens, you just got to push through it and play for Lily,” Smith said.
Smith added the insurance goal in the 44th minute, fresh out of the half, when she got to the end line on a counter-attack pass from Fullner and launched a shot that hit the post and went in. It was Smith’s 10th tally of the season.
“You know what you’re going to get every time with her; she’s just a tough gritty player,” Melendez said. “And just the most quiet, humble person you’ll ever meet.”
For Lynden Christian, there were plenty of positives to draw from the loss.
The Lyncs controlled possession in both halves but three shots hitting the crossbar or upright kept LC from getting on the board, along with an attack that lacked creativity and was too easy to defend, LC coach Brent De Ruyter said.
“That just compounds the frustrations,” De Ruyter said. “As a coach, it’s bad enough. I can only imagine what these girls are going through on the field when they do great chances and then clank.”
The Lyncs will look to get back on track against Bellingham Tuesday, Sept. 29, while Lynden faces Sedro-Woolley the same day.
Reach Joshua Hart at 360-715-2238 or email@example.com.
Lynden 2, Lynden Christian 0
Goal: Peyton Fullner (Lynden), assist: Andie Sahagian, time 22; Goal: Sierra Smith (Lynden), assist: Peyton Fullner, time 44. Goalies (saves) — Lynden: Emily Holt (3); Lynden Christian: Kaitlyn Heeringa (5). Shots on goal — Lynden 8, Lynden Christian 6.