In a GNAC Championship rematch of the 2022 season, the women's soccer team was shut out by the Johnson and Wales Wildcats 5-0 Wednesday afternoon at Taylor Field.
The Lasers attempt to stop a corner-kick cross from the Wildcats.
Photo by Joe Giacco
The Wildcats came out of the gates strong, pushing the pace early which paid off with an immediate goal less than 2 minutes into the game. The Wildcats continued to control the tempo of play, keeping possession in the Lasers’ half and applying constant pressure on the defense. Head coach Vito La Francesca’s team battled all they could to counter with attacks of their own, but the Wildcats' defense stood tall and denied all access.
Before the game, La Francesca emphasized the need for his squad to stay in sync with one another and continue to build a rapport with his players.
“Chemistry is the most important thing,” said La Francesca. “We have a pretty young team and getting along on and off the field will make a difference.”
After 15 minutes of back-and-forth stops, two Wildcats broke free, with one dribbling the ball down the sideline. Despite having three defenders in the area, the Lasers were unable to contain their rivals’ attack towards the net. As the Wildcats’ left wing made a move to get by the Lasers' lone on-ball defender, she crossed the ball into the 18-box where the striker was able to knock it past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Lataya Simmons, who had little time to react to the sudden deflection.
Moments after avoiding another disaster on defense, the Lasers were faced up against a Wildcats’ corner kick. Unfortunately for the home underdogs, they were unable to fight off one of the Wildcats who leaped into the air and headed the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal, giving the visitors a 3-0 lead. And they were not done. With less than four minutes to go in the first half, the Wildcats capitalized on another corner kick that featured an incredible goal in which the Laser opponent taking the corner curved the
ball inside of the goal–without even nicking the inside of the post.
While the Lasers were unable to get anything going in the second half, the Wildcats managed to score one more goal before the final whistle blew. The disappointing performance of a Laser team with such recent home-field success from seasons before was a rare sighting for those in attendance.
The Lasers will look to return to form on the road against St. Joseph’s (ME) this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.