By PAUL DELANEY
Medical Lake broke out of a dry spell in a big way last Thursday scoring more goals in one game than they had in their previous four with a 6-4 Northeast A League girls' soccer victory over Riverside in the Cardinals' league opener.s
With senior defender/forward Sabrina Earle scoring the game's first three goals, and junior Brenda Stark scoring the last three, Medical Lake won its second straight game and improved to 1-0 in NEA play and 2-3 overall.
“It was a wild one,” Medical Lake head coach Zane Higgins said. “It was going back and forth but we managed to pull it out.”
Earle, who splits time between defense and offense, but has been a scoring force as of late, scored just three minutes into the contest for a 1-0 ML lead. Then, after Riverside scored to take a 2-1 lead, Earle was successful on a penalty kick in the 39th minute to tie the contest at the half.
“We'd go up a goal and try to play a little defense, then they'd get the equalizer,” Higgins said.
According to Higgins, after the Rams edged ahead 3-2 in the 42nd minute, Earle scored on an assist from Stark in the 50th minute.
“Brenda (Stark) and Sabrina (Earle) were doing well up top,” Higgins said. “I wanted to put them up there together.”
And it worked out perfectly as after Earle scored her hat trick Stark went to work to pull the Cardinals into a 4-3 lead in the 55th minute. Riverside would tie it one final time at the 63rd minute before Stark won it with a goal in the 75th minute and connected again at 79 minutes.
“We got some players who can put the ball in the net,” Higgins said.
But he regularly moves players around from offense to defense and back again.
“They're kind of going back and forth,” he said. “It would probably be a little more consistent if they were up there all the time, but there are times when we need stronger defense.”
Momentum plays a part in Higgins' lineup strategy.
Riverside out shot Medical Lake 15 to 12 with Libbie Klettke making six saves.
Medical Lake remained in NEA play, but did so on the road meeting Freeman this past Tuesday and Newport, Friday at 7 p.m.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.