Long Trail edges Eagles in opening round
ARLINGTON — All five goals in the opening round of the John Werner Tournament game between hosts Arlington and Long Trail School were scored in a 14-minute stretch between the end of the first and beginning of the second half.
The other 65 minutes were part of an entertaining tournament opener as Long Trail edged the Eagles, 3-2, on Monday night at the newly-dedicated Werner Field.
In the first 30 minutes, the closest thing to a goal was a Long Trail shot that Arlington goalie Shaana Staab punched over the crossbar. But then a half-minute later, Mountain Lions eighth grader Molly Sanderson scored off an assist from Markie Moore to make it 1-0.
Then in a flash, Long Trail doubled the lead when senior Courteney McGowan blasted the first of her two scores on the night to make it 2-0, a lead the Lions took into the break.
"I think we were building momentum in the first half, we were controlling the ball and creating opportunities," said Long Trail coach Rene Navarrete. "Some of the space opened up at the end of the half,
But Arlington refused to fold and scored 63 seconds into the second half, junior Aimee Frank breaking through the defense and picking up a beautifully placed through ball and firing it past Long Trail keeper Emery Letendre to cut the lead in half.
"We were overconfident in the second half, and [that goal] put the game back on," Navarrete said. "A big part of it is the girls showed a lot of desire to win. Once Arlington scored, they knew they needed to come back."
Two minutes later, McGowan floated a shot toward the Arlington net that Staab misplayed coming out of the line and scored it to put the lead back up to two at 3-1.
"That goal definitely deflated us a little bit," said Arlington coach Aaron Wood.
The back and forth wasn't done, as Frank took advantage of a shot that went off Letendre's hands and back out less than a minute later to make it 3-2.
"We talked about protecting the nest at halftime, Long Trail came out quickly in the first half," Wood said. "In the second half, the girls came out tough. I was really impressed with the resolve in the second half, it would have been easy to let that game slip away and we made it tight at the end. a good battle."
Arlington kept the lead at one, but Long Trail nearly scored again with 14 minutes left, but Staab was up to the task and made the stop.
"It'll come, we've been playing injured all year," Wood said. "The girls battled really hard tonight, once we get healthy, we'll be ready to go toward the postseason."
The Eagles drop to 3-2-1 on the year and play Thursday in the consolation match against Twin Valley.
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