By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent
CAPE CORAL — Charlotte girls soccer coach Amanda Carr has brought a new attitude and energy to her team.
That was abundantly clear Tuesday night when the Tarpons opened the season against traditional power Ida Baker, and after spinning their wheels in the first few minutes, they got the ball to junior Caitlyn Lowery and she did the rest.
Lowery scored four goals and assisted on the fifth as the Tarpons cruised to a 5-2 win in Carr’s debut in a non-district contest.
“It’s the girls who step on the field and make it happen. I told them that I was going to put together a team that is going to work together,” Carr said. “Sometimes, it may be the best players, but sometimes it’ll be the ones who work best together.”
Carr has brought a new energy to the team by instilling a positive attitude and having confidence in her players that they will do the job.
“Coming back from playing at the high level I was at, I’m bringing a positive attitude,” she said. “I appreciated that from a coach who believed in me and trusted me, and that’s what I’m trying to instill in these girls to make them play for something bigger than themselves.”
The Bulldogs (0-1) flexed their muscles early to score in the third minute. Haley Rounsifer got a pass from Sedona Townsend, blew past the defense and beat goalkeeper Frenchie Gaudemer for the early lead.
That lasted only two minutes as Baker got careless with the ball in its end. Lowery took advantage and used her speed to beat keeper Ashley Davis to tie the game.
Baker kept the pressure on, but Charlotte (1-0) kept countering and took the lead on Avery Carlton’s goal that went off Davis in the 28th minute.
The strategy seemed to be to get the ball to Lowery and let her buzz past the Bulldogs, who were helpless to stop the Tarpons. Her goal in the 37th minute on an assist from her sister, Brooke, upped the lead to 3-1 at the break.
Baker cut the lead to 3-2 on Rilee Stoehner’s goal in the 55th minute, but Lowery was two or three steps faster than the Bulldogs as she scored twice more (and possibly could have had a few more) to blow the game open.
“Caitlyn is an impact player, along with her sister in the back. It’s great to have them, but it’s also important to have the supporting players. They’re the ones who get them the opportunities,” Carr said.
Added Lowery: “We all played as a team because coach is so positive, which is why we scored so many goals. She keeps us in a good mood and brings a lot of positivity. We don’t get down on ourselves over a bad pass anymore.”