It was the Brooke Goldsmith Show at Stewart Field on Thursday night.
Against Montesano, Goldsmith knocked home both of Elma’s goals and took all of its shots on-goal during the course of this 2-0 Evergreen 1A girls soccer match win.
Elma nearly got on the scoreboard in the 10th minute when Goldsmith found some space and drilled a shot from 38 yards out that just barely sailed over the crossbar. In the 12th minute, Goldsmith charged toward the ball 10 yards from goal before Montesano goalkeeper Kacie Kloempken boldly slid in front of Goldsmith and snagged the ball a split second before Goldsmith had a chance to punch in an almost certain goal.
However, after those near misses, it did not take long for the Eagles to capitalize on a scoring opportunity. A teammate tapped the ball to Goldsmith on an indirect free kick in the 16th minute and she kicked the ball over Kloempken’s head. From 30 yards out, Goldsmith scored to give Elma a 1-0 lead.
As if following a pattern, Goldsmith barely missed on two more scoring opportunities, then scored another goal on a free kick.
The first of the missed opportunities was a shot from the left side of the field in the 33rd minute that was saved by Kloempken. The second was a header in the 36th minute that hit the right post and bounced out of play.
In the 38th minute, Goldsmith scored from 40 yards out on a booming direct free kick that, again, sailed over Kloempken and into the net.
“The girls came out, and we were a little bit shaky in the beginning,” Elma head coach Chris Schumacher said. “Things weren’t going our way. We just wanted to hold our ground and play good, solid soccer, and wait for the opportunities to come. I knew it would be a tight game. It was just who capitalized on the opportunities, and we came out on top because of Brooke’s kicks.”
Montesano head coach Jeff Lenherr said simply, “Brooke had a good game. She had some great shots.”
Monte (3-3, 4-3) failed to score despite controlling the ball for most of the game. The Bulldogs attempted eight shots on-goal to Elma’s six.
“We’re a young team, and finishing has been the issue for us so far this year,” Lenherr said. “The buildup play is there. We just don’t make the most of our opportunities. When that starts clicking, we’ll be in good shape. I thought both teams played clean and competed hard. It was a good game to watch.”
Elma (6-1) favored a high- flying strategy for most of the game, featuring booming clear out kicks by its defensive players, and speedy plays by its forwards. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, preferred to control the ball up the field and keep it on the ground.
“We want to go for the possession game, too, but they held up the midfield really well in the first half of the game and into the second half,” Schumacher said. “We made some adjustments on our formation. We concentrated a little more on the central midfield, and got a few more bodies in there. I think we gained possession during the second half. Monte did well. They are going to be a good team in the years to come.”
Lenherr was also encouraged by the performance of his young team, which features six freshman, and only four seniors.
“We tried a new formation tonight, and I liked the way it looked,” Lenherr added.
Both of these teams will be back in action on Tuesday. The Bulldogs with travel to face Hoquiam and the Eagles will host Forks.