The Ridgefield girls soccer players’ relentless efforts to create chaos led to a shut out of Union in a 2-0 non-league victory on Thursday, Sept. 7.
The Spudders attack on the offensive side of the field created two non-conventional scoring efforts in their shutout win.
Ridgefield forward Victoria Lasch sent what looked to be a crossing pass that was deflected by Union into its own net, which would ultimately be the winning goal, while Spudder goalkeeper Tyler Merlock secured seven saves in the victory.
Lasch later showed her relentlessness in beating Union’s goalkeeper for her second goal of the game.
The Spudders’ defense seemed to build a wall on the field, keeping Union from attacking or possessing the ball. The Ridgefield defense’s efforts led to steals by reading passes, playing pressing defense or even boxing out the Spudders’ opponent while the ball rolled out of bounds.
“What I was just talking to the team about is our commitment to defend this year,” Ridgefield head coach Steven Evans said about his post-game speech. “Our motto of this year is going to be ‘no excuses.’ So we’re not going to let anything affect us, and we have to do what we know we can do, especially on the defensive side.”
Evans said he emphasized to his defense to not give up chances and not give up any goals. Union’s best chance to score of the night came in the closing minutes with a long shot rocketing off the goal crossbar.
“Tonight was very positive to see, and I think we can grow in the game as far as our offense goes and get more goals going forward, too,” Evans said. “We have a lot of depth, and so I think a lot of those moments were coming from our pressure, coming from girls that are bringing a lot of energy off the bench, and so it’s great to have a rotation where you can put players in and nothing drops off and you still continue to press and have that energy.”
The Spudders will kick off league play in a strong 2A Greater St. Helens League conference with two games this week to help set the tone for the season. The Spudders faced off against R. A. Long in Longview on Tuesday, and Thursday, Sept. 14, Ridgefield will play at 7 p.m. on home turf against Mark Morris High School of Longview.
“Every game in our conference is very tough,” Evans said. “The big ones that are always up there at the top are River. They just won state, I think, and R. A. Long is very tough, and so I think for us, it’s like I said, one game at a time, no excuses and we do our best each time.”