LOGAN — Deuces are wild at this point of the soccer season for the Logan Lady Chiefs... and those twos indicate the Logan girls are a much-better team than they were a year ago at this time.
The Logan girls played perennial Central District Division II soccer power Bloom-Carroll to a 2-2 deadlock Tuesday night in Logan Chieftain Stadium. Carly Leach scored both goals for the Purple & White, who are now 2-2-2 on the season.
“At this point last year, the varsity team was 0-5,” said head coach Brandy Ball. “We are now 2-2-2 and plan for our wins to go up as the season progresses. Our girls remember what it’s like to play as a team, and it’s paying off.”
Senior goalkeeper Aaliyah Lewis made 15 saves — all directly on net, while preparing for 10 others that weren’t — and “probably finished the night with a career-best game,” lauded Ball.
“Aaliyah’s saves were extremely impressive,” she continued. “No shot was the same as the last. She found herself diving, jumping and just using perfect placement in the net for each shot. Only two goals were scored on Aaliyah for the night, which both seemed impossible to prevent. Aaliyah worked hard all summer on positioning and movement, spending extra time outside of our summer conditioning to improve her skills as keeper, and it’s paid off.”
A Leach goal gave the Lady Chiefs a 1-0 halftime lead.
“Carly is new to playing on an all-girls team,” Ball revealed. “Any female athlete knows that girls are a different type of aggressive in sports. After coaching Carly her seventh-grade year, I knew what she was capable of. It’s been tough getting her to show her speed and aggression, but I think after a taste of what it can do for the team (Tuesday) night, she’s all in.”
Madison Turner had the assist on Leach’s first-half goal.
“Madison implemented great footwork and placement for Carly,” Ball praised.
“Going into the half, the girls seemed positive about their play and worked with Greg (Rimkus) and I to figure out what steps they should take next to work the ball up the field,” she added. “We knew this game couldn’t be totally possessed by either team, so we had to play out of the back more than we usually would.”
The Logan players took the instructions to heart.
“The girls took this coaching and implemented it, fighting for the ball more and more as the night went on,” Ball noted.
B-C drew even by drilling a direct kick straight into the back corner of the net, but the Lady Chiefs responded, regaining the lead when Leach converted a Mollie Gabriel corner into her second tally of the night.
“Mollie had a great game and worked extremely hard to put pressure on the other team,” Ball praised.
The Bulldogs got the equalizer with four minutes remaining and both teams held off the other to finish the game off in a draw.
“A nail-biter,” Ball said. “Great soccer was played by all.”
Gabriel, Brooklin Harris and Turner all had shots for the Lady Chiefs.
In the reserve game, the Lady Chiefs fell behind 4-0 at the intermission and dropped a 7-0 decision.
“We encouraged the girls to continue thinking about the things that they are working on individually on the field,” Ball said. “We’ve recently asked all of our girls to tell us what they personally would like to improve on, and for both teams, we saw a great improvement for each individual girl.”
Sarah Schwartze made seven first-half saves and Kendyl Glenn had nine saves in playing the second half in goal. Ball lauded center backs Tamera Colson and Blair Kline and Glenn in the midfield for their performances.
“Our girls knew the goal of the game was to work on their individual skills, which will soon lead the team to success later in the season and even next year,” Ball said.
The varsity and reserve Lady Chiefs visit Reynoldsburg on Saturday before the varsity girls play a trio of home games next week against Warren (Tuesday), Westfall (a Thursday makeup match) and Maysville (Saturday, Sept. 21).