LOGANVILLE - Lambert’s girls’ soccer team lost to top-ranked Grayson 4-0 in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs Wednesday night.
Grayson (18-0-1) was all over the Lady Longhorns (11-7) in this contest. They controlled the possession throughout the game and were constantly creating scoring chances.
“We knew this would be the best team we faced all season,” Lambert head coach Scott Luthart said. “They’re not undefeated, ranked No. 1 in the state for no reason.”
Jennifer Westendorf put the first goal on the board in the fifth minute with a strike from just outside the 18-yard box, but she wasn’t done there. She found the back of the net seven minutes later with a strike that bounced off the right upright and into the goal.
But the most impressive goal came five minutes later from a corner kick. Ella Stevens crossed it in low, two teammates deked the ball and left it for Westendorf, who launched the shot from the top of the 18-yard box and into the back of the net to give her a hat-trick in just 17 minutes. Stevens assisted on all three goals.
The Lady Rams kept the pressure on Lambert all night. They ended up with 28 shots, 16 of which were on target. The Lady Longhorns had just nine shots, with only three on frame.
“I just kept looking at the clock,” Lambert senior Delaney Felachos said. “There was 30 minutes left, then 29, then before we knew it, there was 30 seconds left. But we all left everything on the field. I love this team and I’m so proud of all these girls. You have to hand it to Jenn on the other team, she was so great and she has a bright future ahead of her.”
There were few bright spots for Lambert in this match. And despite what the score-line might suggest, the Lady Longhorns’ freshman goalkeeper Jordyn Ebert was one them. She tallied 12 saves in the match. After the first 17 minutes, Lambert matched up very well with Grayson and held them scoreless up until the waning moments of the match.
“I really liked the way we played in the second half,” Luthart said. “I think the way we played in the second half was really more telling of how we matched up with them. Obviously when you have a score-line like that, you don’t think there would be a lot of bright spots, but I really loved the way these girls played and the heart that they played with all night.”
Maggie Hanusek was another one of the key contributors. She played center midfield in the first half, creating chances and forcing the issue. But she moved up front in the second half where she was an even bigger part of the attack and had a couple chances in front of goal.
Casey Baker, one of three seniors on this team, was solid on the back-line. And Coach Luthart couldn’t say enough about his senior, who converted to center-back halfway through the year, which really sparked this team’s turnaround. The other seniors, Taylor Kemmeling and Fechalos also played a big role in this game and this season.
“I thought we had a great season,” Baker said, “We obviously didn’t want it to end this early but I’m still proud of all these girls.”
“I think we peaked at the right time,” Felachos said, “But in the end, we drew one of the best teams in Georgia, and it just wasn’t our luck today.”