CC Blazers 1, LCC Red Devils 1
(Centralia, WA) In the first broadcast of our new partnership with Centralia College the Blazers Women’s Soccer team played their best match of the season according to Head Coach Horst Malunat. However, it did not lead to their 3rd win of the season but rather their 1st tie.
The Blazers had been shorthanded with injuries for several matches and now most are back and the difference was notable right from the start. Malunat is known for an aggressive style, one that likes to push the pace and with his team nearly at full strength it took all of 95 seconds for the Blazers to punch in a goal on the Lower Columbia defense. Joslin Lindsay set up the score with a beautiful pass to Sidney Rees who finished it off blasting it into the net and just like that Malunat had what he hadn’t had in quite some time, a lead.
The barrage did not stop there as the Blazers who have averaged about 7 shots per game through the first 10 matches of the season resulting in 14 goals had at least 7 quality shots on goal in the 1st half alone. Malunat says scoring of course is the ultimate goal but increasing quality shots is a huge priority. Teams at the top of the standings are averaging anywhere from 12 to 25 per game and it only makes sense the more quality shots you take the chances of scoring increase dramatically. “Tonight was a great start to turning this season around and it all starts with good shots.”
Centralia came out in the 2nd half and again looked early for that all important insurance goal with big runs led by Lindsay, Sam Lindsay, Stefani Cifuentes, Rees and LeAnn Phanakhone. The Blazers defense was also solid with several big stops from keeper Emily Henderson and the backline led by Mary Richardson.
The Red Devils, who beat the Blazers in their first match of the season 4-1, were scrambling to get back in the match and in the 55th finally broke free when Ashlynn Willis poked the ball by Henderson and it was tied 1-1.
The Blazers then visually stepped up their attack but somehow could not get any of the golden opportunities to go in including a few late shots in front of the goal to free kicks that just sailed high over the top. Malunat said he knows the team felt like they let one get away but he focused on the positive and said this was a stepping stone as they began the 2nd round of facing all of their league opponents. Malunat told the team “let’s just improve in each of these re-matches and see how it all plays out.”
The Pacific Sports Spa Players of the Game for the Blazers against Lower Columbia went to Mary Richardson for our defensive player award and Joslin Lindsay got the offensive honor.
The Blazers had a chance to overtake the Red Devils in the standings trailing by 1 point but with the 1-1 draw remain 1 behind and in 6th place in the West Region of the NWAC with a 2-5-1 record. LCC is now 2-3-2 and both trail division leader Tacoma 5-0-2. The Blazers will next play on the road at Grays Harbor Saturday at Stewart Field. CC beat Grays Harbor the 1st time and will look to add their 3rd win of the season to their record. ESN will be there with our 2nd of 3 planned live broadcasts for this season, we’re on the air with free audio and live video on our You-Tube and Twitter TV Channels at 5:45 with a 6p Kick-off.
(We had an issue with our You-Tube page last night so the live video broadcast was only on our Twitter channel and the link to that broadcast is at the top of this story. We apologize and the You-Tube channel should be operational by Saturday.)