It was all Lambert all night when the visiting Longhorns kicked off the 2018 season by beating Forsyth Central 20-4.
“I’m definitely pleased with the effort,” Lambert head coach Travis Church said. “We had the keys to the game as being patient on offense and to win the groundballs, which we did.”
Six different Longhorns scored, with Grace Scheurlein, Shelby Rumer, Jenna Humphries and Gabby DiVirgilio each putting multiple balls into the net.
One of Divirgilio’s goals occurred on a high-effort play in the final seconds of the half, driving directly to the crease after winning the draw and sneaking a ball over the Central goalie to put the Longhorns up by seven at the half.
“I just saw that there was short time and I needed to step up, help my team out and finish it out,” Divirgilio said.
Church, while pleased with the effort and result, couldn’t resist a coaching opportunity.
“I honestly thought she probably had a pass open that she could have made, but at the end of the day I’ll take the goal,” he said. “She’s fast. I’ve raced her in practice before and she always beats me.”
Lambert took control quickly, winning the game’s first two draws and turning them into goals within the first three minutes. The Longhorns continued to dominate the draw for the duration of the game in addition to winning the vast majority of ground balls and more than tripling Central’s shots, putting up 32 to the Bulldogs’ nine.
“We were very patient on offense, we got some really good looks in the eight and we hustled on ground balls, which as a coach that’s pleasing because that’s all heart,” Church said.
Central struggled to cross midfield for the majority of the night, thanks largely to a swarming defensive effort by Lambert’s front six, who responded to every save, missed-shot or rare groundball by aggressively harassing the Bulldog’s attempt to clear.
“We’ve worked all week on our re-defend, riding the ball on a turnover on the offensive side,” Church said. “I think we re-defended really well tonight, and that’s one of the big reasons we didn’t get the ball down on our defensive side too much.”
Lambert was coming of its best season in school history: 16 wins and a run to the Class 6-7A state semifinals where the Longhorns fell a goal short of reaching the state final. Church replaced then-head coach Kate Sedgwick, who left to take the same position at Woodward Academy.
Church couldn’t have asked for much better of a start to this season.
“Not a lot to be upset about,” Church said.