By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
NORTH PORT — Lakewood Ranch High School’s diverse, offensive attack was on full display against North Port on Tuesday night.
The Bobcats, who were dealing with injuries in their midfield, simply had no answer for the Mustangs’ fast front line. Four different players scored goals, including two by Faith Schyck, to lead Lakewood Ranch to a 5-2 victory over North Port.
AD Troche scored both goals for North Port but her team just couldn’t keep up with the Mustangs, who outshot the Bobcats 24-8.
“We didn’t play our best game here but we played hard and played for the entire 80 minutes and they never gave up and they fought through the entire time,” North Port coach Bill Callan said.
Lakewood Ranch (3-0) wasted little time attacking, nearly scoring less than two minutes into the game when Hajar Benjoud sent a shot speeding just to left net and out of bounds. But disaster struck for North Port (1-2) in the fifth minute when goalkeeper Kayla Gordan-Somers came out for a loose ball that her teammate also went after, leading to neither corralling it and Schyck instead putting her foot on it for an easy goal and a 1-0 lead.
“The first goal was just a miscommunication between the defender and the goalie,” Callan said. “The defender really should have played it back to her feet and she could have played out. They’re a good team and if you have miscommunication, they’re going to step to the ball and make you pay for it.”
Troche answered that score with one of her own in the 23rd minute thanks to some help from her teammates. Alexis Howarth came away with a steal for the Bobcats near their own penalty box and passed the ball over to Augusta Purvis, who sent the ball flying down the right sideline to Troche. The sophomore then sent the ball high into the left corner of the net and out of the reach of Lakewood Ranch goalkeeper Holly Spillman to tie the game.
But it didn’t take long for the Mustangs to regain control as Gi Krtec scored in the 34th minute on an assist from Madison Mirandilla for a 2-1 lead. That advantage then doubled seconds later when Schyck’s shot attempt bounced off the crossbar but Benjoud was there to follow it up for another goal.
Lindsay Coleman became the fourth Mustang to score in the game with a goal eight minutes into the second half.
“That’s exactly what we like about our team. We don’t have really a superstar but we have a lot of girls that can make things happen,” Lakewood Ranch coach Gaetano Virgilio said.
Coleman’s goal ended Gordan-Somers night in the net as she finished with four saves before being replaced by Jordann Kinkin.
Troche got North Port back a goal in the 50th minute against goalkeeper Heather Jones, who replaced Spillamn for the second half, but there just weren’t many opportunities for the Bobcats to pull closer. Schyck put the finishing touches on the game with her second goal in the 76th minute against Kinkin, who finished with five saves.
“It was very close until we scored two quick goals right there that brought them down a little bit but for awhile it was give and go,” Virgilio said. “To me, it was a pretty equal game. We were winning a lot of balls in the middle and we didn’t give them an opportunity to develop anything, which is going to shut them down pretty quick, and that’s what we were trying to do and that’s what we did.”