Lady Bengals jet past ‘Hawks in rivalry match

Westwood’s Khrya Reese (9) dribbles past Rachael McGahee of the Lady Bengals in last week’s crosstown match.

The young Westwood Redhawks were no match for the Blythewood Lady Bengals soccer team , as the Bengals served up an 11-0 defeat on Thursday. The 0-7-0 Redhawks are still awaiting their first win in the school’s history.

As with all Westwood teams in this, their first year of existence, the soccer team is small and young. With the team on the field, there remained only two players on the bench and a spare goaltender. One difference with this team, compared to other Westwood teams, is that they played like a team with a developing program, and they played well and up to their ability without pretention.

The first half of the game was played mostly in the Westwood end, as the skillful Bengals were able to stay on the offense most of the time. Westwood’s Khyra Reese played with good ball handling skills, and threatened the Blythewood goalie several times in the first half, but the team was not able to score.

Superior passing and experience allowed the Bengals to score three times in the first half. One bright spot for the Redhawks’ team was the skill and dedication of their goaltender, Laura Drescher. Drescher made many diving saves, and looked to be playing with skills a college goalie would be proud to have. But for Drescher’s many, many saves, exponentially more goals would have been scored against Westwood.

The game momentum shifted Westwood’s way in the last minutes of the first half, but the half ended with the score 3-0, Blythewood.

Westwood head coach Kayla Rider had no comment for The Voice, but she told her team at halftime that they were playing better.

“You guys are getting better at being where you’ve got to be,” Rider said. “Going to the ball, going through the ball. You realize they aren’t as good as you thought? You are getting better. All the teams we play aren’t going to be as good as you thought. You guys have awesome potential. You have so many expectations of yourselves, you just can’t achieve them. Go out, have fun and play hard.”

The Bengals were hot in the second half, beginning with an easy chip-shot goal. Drescher played brilliantly in the half, turning away most of the shots on goal. However, a goalie can’t do it all herself, and the play remained mostly in the Westwood end.

The Bengals were able to form some impressive offensive combinations, often by Claire Stephan and Savannah Purvis, which worked well for them. The Bengals were able to score seven goals in the second half. The eighth goal was scored for the Bengals when a Westwood defender tried to head the ball away from the net, but the ball went backwards, into the goal.

The Redhawks’ best scoring chance came when a hand ball was called on Blythewood. Camera Jones brought the ball in with few Blythewood defenders in the area, and charged toward the goal with only the goalie to stop her. Unfortunately, the Blythewood goalie was able to field the ball and clear it down to the Westwood end of the field.

After the game, Blythewood coach Mike Mauldin had some good things to say about his opposition.

“In the first half we were lackadaisical, but we stepped up in the second half,” Mauldin said. “We used some combinations, which we talked about at halftime, and it was very productive for us. Westwood is just starting with their program, and it’s tough on them. We know that and it’s also tough on us. But we thought they stepped up and played well They have young players and it’s going to take them a while to build a program, but it’s coming along. It will come, I promise you. They are trying to build the program. They have things in perspective, they are motivated in the right direction. In near future they will be competitive in 3A.”

Westwood faces Camden at home on Tuesday, while Blythewood hosts Spring Valley.

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