Leesville Road, the new No. 1 girls’ soccer team in the area, survived on its home field to narrowly defeat the Sanderson Spartans 2-1.
The Pride (8-0-1) trailed 1-0 for much of the second half until Brooke Sroka, who was in front of the Sanderson net, tapped in Regan Norvell’s pass for Leesville Road’s first goal at the 28-minute mark of the second half. The teams would play to a stalemate to force extra time.
“We started playing well the last 20 minutes and kept that going. I felt, in terms of the play, as the game went on, we did well,” Pride coach Paul Dinkenor said. “ We gritted our teeth. Once we got that second goal, we looked in control.”
Following a back-and-forth first overtime, the second extra session yielded the same intensity as the first. But Leesville took the edge after Madison Hoffmann’s free kick ended up at the front of Sanderson’s net. Rachel Golden kicked in what would be the winning goal.
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The Spartans (4-3-3) scored when Lauren Prakke knocked in a rebound off a free kick at the 17-minute mark of the first half. The Spartans played tough defense for the rest of the half and much of the second.
“Our strength is our defense. We did make a mistake on their goal, we got a little flat on back and couldn’t recover,” Spartans coach Todd Worley said. “I thought we played really well in the first part of overtime. I was pleased – not with the outcome – but with our girls’ effort for what they tried to do.”
Brooke Sroka’s goal tied the score with 11 minutes to play in the second half. The shift in momentum was felt as the Pride created more chances late.
They said it
“I thought we played a decent second half until the last 15 minutes. I thought both teams played hard. It was a clean game. Coach Dinkenor and I have been to many games like that. Sometimes I win them, sometimes I lose them.” – Spartans coach Todd Worley
Sanderson’s tough defense gave Leesville fits. Dinkenor tweaked his team’s scheme and went aggressive, creating more offense which lead to the win.