Monte pulls away in second half to beat Elma in soccer

Montesano scores four goals in the second half to beat Elma, 5-0.

MONTESANO — After a close first half, Montesano turned up the offensive pressure in the second half to pull away with a a 5-0 girls soccer victory against Elma on Thursday at Rottle Field.

Montesano improved its record to 5-0 in the Evergreen 1A League and 10-1-1 overall. Elma’s record now stands at 2-2 in league and 6-4-2 overall.

Elma lost the first match-up against Montesano by an identical score early in the season but the Eagles put on a much better performance in the opening 40 minutes.

Both team did well to limit the shots on goal in the first half but Montesano got the first goal when miscommunication at the back allowed Samantha Stanfield just enough space to fire off a shot from the edge of the box that got over the head of goalkeeper Holli Ray.

Despite scoring the goal in the ninth minute, play remained even for most of the half. But a key adjustment at halftime helped the Bulldogs open up the game.

“They did a really good job adjusting to our attack of the central part of the field so we asked our players to stay wider and that made all the difference,” said Montesano head coach Fidel Sanchez. “In the second half, we scored four goals in the span of 20 minutes.”

Zoee Lisherness added a tally in the 50th minute when a shot low to the ground made it past the keeper’s dive. Stanfield got on the scoresheet yet again when she placed a header from a corner kick just inside the post to help put the game further out of reach just three minutes later.

“Monte is a fast-passing, fast-scoring team and we were trying to go to the ball and get it stopped,” Elma head coach Scott Rockey said. “We just couldn’t do it.”

With the game out of reach, Monte’s Peyton Poler and Brooke Sreeter both added goals when they found space to dribble in the box and finished when they went one-on-one with Ray.

The result was a disappointing one for Elma but Rockey said there is a lot his team can learn from a game like that.

“It was a lot better first half than last time, so that was good,” he said. “Games like this show you what you need to work on… we need to work on our movement on defense and we need to work on possession. We passed a lot of balls away.”

Rockey went on to say that Rebeka Lensegrav did well to limit the damage at the back along with the help of her midfielders.

Montesano will take on Tenino on Tuesday with the hopes of taking another step towards winning the league title. Elma will face Tenino that following Thursday.

Sanchez said he hopes the ball movement he saw on Thursday night shows up again against the Beavers.

“They know how find the open player and get it to that player,” he said. “Thats what we preach and they did a really good job of it. They were very consistent.”