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Lady Mustangs defeat Lady Knights 4-0

North Lincoln’s Abi Smith battles with Montana Fenske (No. 13) and Christena Pitsikoulis (No. 6) on Monday.

Staff Writer

PUMPKIN CENTER — The East Lincoln Lady Mustangs (2-3-2) snagged a 4-0 victory on the road Monday night against the North Lincoln Lady Knights (3-4). The win was the Denver team’s first conference match of the season.
Despite the Lady Knights’ empty scoreboard, they executed a number of shots throughout the game and showed fans they were equally matched against the Lady Mustangs in both aggression and skill.
North Lincoln won the coin toss and started the half with possession, quickly taking the ball downfield in an attempt to attack their opponent’s goal, but East Lincoln’s legs were fresh and ready to protect their net. A foul on the Lady Knights gave the Lady Mustangs their first free kick of the night at the 30-second mark.
Less than two minutes later, East Lincoln cheered their first goal with a successful shot from senior Adriene Reavis.
At the three-minute mark, senior Melissa Lenentine took her team’s first shot on goal, sending the ball past the net from the 18-yard line.
The Lady Mustangs gained their first corner kick a short time later with junior Alexandria Danese placing the ball directly in front of the mouth of the goal, but her teammates were unsuccessful in securing a second team goal until the 15-minute mark.
After executing a quick fake around the Lady Knights’ goalkeeper, Reavis successfully took advantage of the open net in front of her, celebrating her second personal goal.
Lenentine and senior midfielder, Sarah Barr, continued to work together throughout the half, moving and passing around the Lady Mustangs’ sea of orange defenders. Barr attempted a goal for the Lady Knights at the 16-minute mark. Lenentine followed suit at the 21-minute mark.
North Lincoln gained a corner five minutes later after East Lincoln’s defense deflected a shot on goal. The shot resulted in a foul and handed the ball back to the Lady Mustangs for a free kick up the field.
The Lady Knights again saw an opportunity for a goal with a free shot in the half’s final six minutes. Senior defender Anna Jackson sent the ball sailing over her opponent’s defense and into the hands of Lady Mustangs’ junior goalkeeper, Macy Kincaid.
Lenentine closed out the half by heading the ball up field.
Going into the second half, the Lady Mustangs led 2-0 over the Lady Knights. Danese made a quick break toward the North Lincoln goal a couple minutes after the half started but was thwarted by aggressive play on the Lady Knights’ end.
Even the home team’s defenders, including sophomore Rebecca Pearce, were anxious for a goal. Pearce maneuvered around Lady Mustangs’ players and carried the ball up field for several seconds at the five-minute mark.
At minute 12, Reavis celebrated a hat trick, securing East Lincoln’s third goal of the night.
Both Barr and Lenentine continued to pound their opponent’s goal throughout the second half, even securing back-to-back shots across the mouth of the goal at the 18-minute mark, but the score margin only continued to increase between the rival teams.
Following an unsuccessful free kick at midfield, the Lady Mustangs quickly regained their confidence, and with five minutes left to play, cheered their team’s fourth and final goal, scored by junior Dalton Bell.
Barr, along with junior and sophomore teammates Abby Labar and Abi Smith, all sent shots toward the Lady Mustangs’ goal as the game came to a close, but the home team never cheered a goal before the scoreboard buzzed.
North Lincoln head coach Kelly Barney said the Lady Knights were unprepared for Monday night’s matchup and were unable to utilize the team’s full potential. She also believed East Lincoln played a more aggressive game and that her squad felt the weight of having just lost a key starter to a torn ACL.
“We are suffering from some changes and are trying to improve our depth on the team,” she said. “We look forward to the challenges that lie ahead and hope to improve.”
Both North Lincoln and East Lincoln will again see conference matchups today. North Lincoln will travel to Gastonia to take on Highland Tech’s Lady Rams while East Lincoln will host the West Lincoln Lady Rebels at David Clark Stadium. Both games are set for 6 p.m.

North Lincoln’s Sharla Sugierski battles for possession with East Lincoln’s Adriene Reavis.

Image courtesy of Ray Gora / LTN

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