It’s tricky facing the same team in a little over a month, but Lambert girls soccer coach Scott Luthart did his homework and gave West Forsyth something it didn’t expect.
The No. 10-ranked Lady Longhorns used a 4-5-1 formation in their first meeting, beating West 3-0, but changed to a 4-4-2 on Friday to earn another 3-0 win at Wolverine Field. The formation change paid off, as forward Tatum Richey tallied the first two goals and teammate Emily Haugen added another.
The victory puts Lambert (11-3, 10-2 Region 6-AAAAAA) in a tie for most region wins with South Forsyth, while the loss forces West (5-10, 5-7) two games back of the fourth and final playoff spot with only two region games left.
"The biggest thing we talked about before we came out here was facing [West] that second time around," Luthart said. "We thought we were in real good control the first time we played them, but it’s that mentality of now they know us [and] we know them. It’s kind of like a chess match."
Richey broke through in the 26th minute with a chip shot over the goalie from 30 yards out and a little under three minutes later; found the back of the net again. She took her own shot that hit off the crossbar and headed it past keeper Courtney Baum (9 saves) to bring the score to 2-0.
"After spring break, we all came back rejuvenated and just wanted to win," Richey said. "We were more focused than we ever have been, actually.
"We knew coming into this that Courtney Baum was an amazing goalkeeper. You couldn’t beat her by going down low, so I knew I had to chip it in order to get it past her."
One minute and nine seconds was all Lambert needed to score after halftime. Haugen took a shot from the far left side of the box and curved it past the keeper into the top-right side of the goal, making the score 3-0.
West’s Madison Bowers tried to build momentum with a shot on goal in the 47th minute, but Lambert keeper Sami Lucas knocked the shot away. The Lady Wolverines couldn’t manage another scoring opportunity, as Lucas recorded the clean sheet.