SPRING CREEK — The Spring Creek girls soccer team — like many sports programs — has battled COVID-related issues and protocols in recent week, and the Lady Spartans did not have their best outing Friday.
Against Wooster, Spring Creek appeared out of sorts, out of system, consistently a step slow and fell to the Lady Colts by a final score of 1-0 on what was — essentially — an own goal.
The Lady Spartans did the bulk of their positive first-half work in the early going.
Senior Lexy Ballew had a shot deflected in the box after receiving a cross from senior Ellie Herman.
Herman then possessed the ball on the right wing and took a shot but sent the ball over the crossbar.
Spring Creek earned a corner kick but the initial boot by senior Shyann Lamb was deflected and eventually saved.
Wooster began to possess the ball more frequently and pass fairly effectively, leading to a shot for junior Nadia Garcia — Spring Creek junior goalie Elley Dilworth making a save.
On the other end, junior Syerra Silva fired a kick for the Lady Spartans — Wooster’s keeper coming up with a stop.
Dilworth made a great stuff for Spring Creek, batting down a kick to her left from the right wing by freshman Soraya Dominguez and then recovering for a grab on the ensuing rebound attempt from Garcia.
The Lady Spartans found a long-distance attempt, but the ball flew over the frame.
Lamb earned another try from the corner after a throw-in was deflected beyond the end line, but the ball sailed over potential runs and was not contacted.
Dilworth notched multiple saves on a shot by senior Lady Velasquez and another from the foot of junior Kanela Furuta.
Wooster made Spring Creek chase, passing and possessing the ball for the majority of the time on the Lady Spartans’ defensive side of the midfield — turning 50-50 balls into 75-25 occurrences — Spring Creek appearing to being play in quicksand.
The hard work by the Lady Colts — albeit with some luck — paid off in the 36th minute.
On a lofted, slow ball to the left side of the frame, the keeper got a right hand on the ball twice but deflected it into the Lady Spartans’ frame — the score serving as the only of the contest.
Lamb bombed a long free kick from the left side, but the shot was grabbed by the Wooster keeper.
Senior Payge Walz made a strong push down the right side of the pitch, dribbling pass multiple defenders but missing her kick wide to the left.
Velasquez missed a shot wide to the right after a Wooster corner kick, and Spring Creek survived another scare after not clearing the ball away from the box as time expired in the first half.
At the break, the Lady Spartans trailed by one.
Toward the beginning of the second half, Spring Creek junior defender Arena McDermott flipped the field and turned into an offensive player with an aggressive dribble down the right sideline — running through contact and hitting a shot after stopping a deflection — but the ball was grabbed by the advancing Wooster goalie.
Sensing a little desperation, the Lady Spartans played better after intermission — stepping to the ball with more regularity and desire.
Lamb launched a free kick from around midfield, the Colts’ keeper snagging the attempt in the air.
Junior Avery Beatty took her turn with a shot from distance, but that ball also wound up in the goalie’s hands.
Dilworth made a great save on a shot from the right wing, and Lamb fired another direct kick from the middle of the field — between the box and the midline — her low roller saved at the left edge of the frame.
Beatty had another kick that was stuffed by the keeper, but Spring Creek showed more life and a lot better action — both offensively and defensively.
However, Wooster’s lead nearly doubled on a corner kick — senior Taelor Stutzman bodying the ball over the frame and wide to the left — and the Lady Colts never relinquished their lead, once again passing around the field and keeping the ball, for the most part, away from their own net.
Near the end of the game, senior Viridiana Carmona hit a free kick from around midfield, the ball then deflected to the right side — where the boot by senior Angie Vanegas zipped high and to the left.
The Lady Spartans were unable to find the equalizer late and fell by a final score of 1-0.
Versus North Valleys
On Sept. 10, playing without a number of key players, Spring Creek opened its road trip with a scoreless draw against North Valleys, in Reno.
In the contest, Lamb sent a corner kick toward the frame but a defender — not the goalie — batted the ball away from the net, the Lady Spartans not awarded a penalty kick for a handball on the play.
But, the Lady Spartans capped their weekend with a 1-0 victory on Sept. 11 at Hug.
In the first half, Ballew punched home the game’s only score on a corner kick —lifting Spring Creek to its lone win of the regular season.
After finishing their preseason tournament with a 1-2 record in the Spring Creek Cup, the Lady Spartans are now 1-3-1 on the year — not playing either their two games scheduled for Labor Day weekend due to COVID issues.