Kickers on roll, blank two foes

Eastside goes down 5-0; Ingraham succumbs in turn by a 4-0 score.

The Spartan girls soccer team faced a unique test after escaping Bishop Blanchet last Thursday with a 1-1 draw.

On Tuesday, Eastside Catholic brought their physical style of play to Memorial Stadium. Nothing dirty, but enough that Bainbridge struggled early, leading 1-0 at halftime on an Allie Picha goal smartly converting Taryn Christoffersen’s free kick cross from the right in the tenth minute.

“We worked in practice to relieve the backside pressure we anticipated,” said coach Mark Grindrod, “by trapping to space. They challenged from behind every time, but we weren’t adapting in the first half.”

They did adapt in the second half, en route to a 5-0 shutout victory.

Eastside barely challenged the Bainbridge defense, with starting keeper Jackie Danzig touching the ball for the first time with 12 minutes remaining in the first frame. The defense in front of her did not allow any shots in the game.

Bainbridge looked to go up by two when co-captain Jenine Adam lined up for a penalty kick in the 30th minute. Her low shot was stopped by Crusader keeper, sophomore Veronica Cerda, who guessed right, diving right.

“We were trying too hard,” Grindrod said. “Along with adjusting to the backside pressure, I wanted the girls to relax, have fun. Play open and with power, as we learned from the Chief Sealth game.”

Halftime adjustments seemed to take hold, as the Spartan booters came out focused and moving the ball over the entire field. The end results gained attention as well.

The spring in Zena Hemmen’s step showed the way for the Sparts. In the 43rd minute, junior wing Callan Cobb buried a Hemmen blast that rebounded off the right post.

Cobb returned the favor with a cross into Hemmen, who scored off a glancing header in the 45th, then forced a diving save on a long shot two minutes later.

That goal put Bainbridge in command, 3-0. The product of a string of no fewer than 10 possession passes, starting from the back where sophomore sweeper Lindsey Montoya coolly dismantled every Crusader foray, the goal epitomized the danger to Grindrod’s offensive scheme.

The ball traveled from the back via triangles with Montoya, Alana MacWhorter and Jocelyn Moody solving the pressure, to the midfield, where the Spartans probed the defense, to the right via Kelsey Devereaux, to the center and Jenine Adam, and finally the left, where Cobb received it down the alley, placing it near the post where Hemmen timed her glancing header.

Lund goes long

Senior stopper Lindsay Lund, whose play was solid and purposeful throughout, slammed home an inspired 35-yard shot in the 53rd and it seemed the scoreline could easily double from 4-0.

Adams atoned for her first half PK miss, patrolling the midfield virtually unfettered with uncanny placement passing.

In the 55th minute she dribbled into the right side of the Eastside box, drawing defenders, then chipped smartly to junior Molly Oshin, whose shot was blocked.

“I liked the way Jenine kept putting balls through,” said Grindrod. “She must have had half a dozen good chances which went unlucky.”

An Adam pass forced a sprawling save from Cerda in the 74th minute on a shot from the right by sophomore mid Maureen Callahan.

Four minutes later, Adam found Hemmen alone outside the left corner of the six-yard box but the shot sailed high. Then, with Eastside marking all options, she alertly dribbled 30 yards through the defense, punctuating her team’s performance and the victory with the fifth goal in the 80th and final minute.

The Spartans moved their record to 5-2-2 overall by downing Ingraham 4-0 in a road contest Thursday. Picha, Adam, Hemmen and Christoffersen scored for Bainbridge, with Danzig recording the shutout.

If tradition holds, next week will see the most entertaining action of the season. On Tuesday, the Spartans host last year’s 3A champs, Lakeside, then seek revenge Thursday against Seattle Prep in another home match.

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