Girls Soccer: Roth shoots for hat trick in 2nd half to pace win
A big green monkey was yanked off the Detroit Lakes girls’ soccer team’s proverbial shoulder Tuesday evening, as the Lakers finally ended a long drought against rival East Grand Forks with a 4-2 victory at the Rotary Soccer Complex.
A second-half scoring barrage, headed by senior attacker Natalie Roth’s hat trick, stymied the Green Wave and gave the leg up to the Lakers in the Lake to Prairie Conference and the inside track for the No. 2 seed in the Section 8-1A North playoffs.
It was also the first time since 2006 the Lakers beat EGF, with assistant coach Alice Branden being a key component on that DL team as the area’s top defender.
“The girls knew a lot was riding on this game, they knew we couldn’t leave with a tie, but a win,” said DL head coach Dave Carter.
“These girls wanted this game and they went out and took it.”
The win combines with the two teams’ tie earlier this season, which gives the Lakers a 4-0-1 conference record, with EGF at 6-2-1 and Bemidji at 4-2-0.
The Lakers also should be ahead in QRF points, as well, and are now in control of their own destiny as the No. 2 seed, which would mean the Green Wave would have to come back to DL’s Rotary Soccer Complex for the playoffs.
The Lakers are a perfect 5-0 on their home field.
“Rotary Complex is our fortress, we play very well there,” Carter said. “The field lends to our style of play and our fans are just terrific.”
All that was evident Tuesday, as the Lakers found a well of momentum after trailing 1-0 at halftime.
Carter bumped sophomore Halle Jordan up further on attack to produce more shots, while eighth grader Lauren Tschider filled in Jordan’s position well.
The Lakers found much of their scoring success from the outside, starting just four minutes into the second half, as Roth took an assist by Jordan inside the penalty area, where she delivered a high left strike past the Green Wave goalie for the 1-1 tie.
Even though junior defender Addie Kay Johnson stayed back and helped stave off the Green Wave attack for much of the game, the speedy defensive player became offensive with a hard power shot from way out of the penalty area to put DL up 2-1.
“Addie Kay is a very good offensive player, but she is so good on defense, we needed her speed back there, which saved our bacon,” Carter said. “But her shot was so hard on goal, the goalkeeper had no chance of saving it.”
In the 53rd minute, Roth struck again with a nice shot from the corner, which hit the far lower right bar and deflected into the goal for the 3-1 advantage.
The insurance was purchased on Roth’s third hat trick of the season, as Jordan once again assisted.
Roth was able to pick up a rebound off of Jordan’s shot off the point and the Lakers held the firm 4-1 lead with just 15 minutes left in the game.
EGF added one more goal with 10 minutes remaining, but that would be it on senior goalie Kathryn Foltz, who had 11 saves.
“Kathryn was a rock, especially in the first half and the early part of the second,” Carter added. “Jordan Lundberg also has been playing very well and has improved delivering balls for assists.”
The Lakers used quality over quantity, with EGF holding a 16-12 edge in shots on goal, but DL had six shots on goal in the second half and converted four of them into scores.
With DL’s 8-2-2 record and four games remaining, they will hold both the conference and section seeding in their hands.
“I don’t think these girls will let down, either,” Carter said. “We have one foot on the conference title and now, it’s ours to lose.”
The Lakers will travel to Crookston (3-6-1) Thursday and host Walker/Hackensack-Akeley (1-6) Saturday at 2 p.m.