SANDPOINT — On a night celebrating a quintet of Sandpoint girls soccer seniors, Lake City senior Maddy Lasher crashed the party with two goals in the Timberwolves’ 3-0 win over the previously unbeaten Bulldogs.
But despite what the score would indicate, Sandpoint out-shot the Timberwolves 20-10 “I was trying to tell my players at the end that [they] should feel disappointed right now because we got beat 3-0, but at the same time, that wasn’t a 3-0 game,” Sandpoint head coach Conor Baranski said. “That was a pretty evenly contested game.”
Energized by the culmination of senior night festivities and playing under the lights of Memorial Field, Sandpoint’s offense blitzed the younger Lake City back line with to quick, aggressive attacking from seniors Hannah Eddy, Emi Lynch and junior Jordie Breeden.
The Bulldogs controlled possession until the 10th minute, where junior goalkeeper Hattie Larson got her first test of the season. Lasher and Lake City junior Kali McKellips went on the break, setting up what looked like a scoring situation for the Timberwolves, but McKellips got ahead of herself and was whistled offsides.
Lasher got her turn 13 minutes later as she slipped past Sandpoint’s defenders to score off a cross from freshman Mackenzie Goings.
“The main difference was Maddy Lasher,” Baranski said of the University of Idaho commit. “She’s fast, she’s talented and she scored their first two goals.”
The first goal spurred on a series of Lake City possessions that nearly put the game out of reach before halftime.
Yet the defensive play of Emma Thielbahr was a bright spot for the Bulldogs. The sophomore played beyond her years by singlehandedly erasing several Lake City possessions with her heads-up play in the box.
“Our player of the game was 100% Emma Thielbahr,” Baranski said. “She is such a competitor, is so intelligent and such a beast in all aspects.”
The Bulldogs opened up the second half with another surge. Eddy broke through the Timberwolves’ defense on several occasions, but the offense couldn’t get on the same page in these moments.
“Our movement in general was very weak and when we play weaker teams, that’s not shown as much,” Baranski said. “But when you play against a more organized team, it’s very glaring. That’s definitely going to be our main focus.”
In the 67th minute, the Timberwolves put any comeback hopes as Lily Fletcher put a pass from the right side past a diving Larson.
“That third goal was one of the better goals I’ve seen a high school player score off that volley,” Baranski said of the Timberwolves’ third and final goal of the night.
The Bulldogs will open up Inland Empire League play at Lakeland next Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 p.m.
First half — 1, Lake City, Maddy Lasher (Mackenzie Goings), 23:00. Second half — 2, Lake City, Maddy Lasher (unassisted), 47:00. 3, Lake City, Lily Fletcher (unassisted), 67:00.
Shots on goal — Sandpoint, 20. Lake City, 10.
Saves — Sandpoint, Hattie Larson 6. Lake City, Hailey Jo Parks, 11.