The Northwest Athletic Conference Playoffs kicked off on Nov 1. The Titans’ women’s soccer team hosted a first-round game in Eugene against Lower Columbia Community College. Ranked third in the Western Region standings, Lower Columbia had to battle Lane in order to advance to the next round and face the undefeated Peninsula Pirates.
It took 56 seconds for Lane to score the first goal of the game. Freshman Gwyn Anderson stepped up and gave Lane the lead early.
“I just really wanted to win,” Anderson said after she scored her third goal of the season and first of the playoffs.
After a botched corner kick, Lane got another chance. Their second attempt was knocked into the goal by forward Callie Lambert. Danielle VanOrd assisted on the play. Lane stretched the lead to 2-0 in the first half. Head coach Erica Mertz emphasized to her team how important an early lead is.
“We talked about winning the game in the first 15 minutes,” Mertz said. “Then we were up two goals in the first nine minutes.”
Sydney Holborow was the first substitution for Lambert who requested a sub after trying to outrun multiple Lower Columbia defenders. At the 19th minute, Lower Columbia launched a shot at Lane goalkeeper Hanalyn Sypher who blocked the first, but was unable to recover the rebound. Lower Columbia knocked in their first goal of the night to trim the deficit to 2-1. Lower Columbia had another opportunity a few minutes later but it sailed over the goal.
A speedy VanOrd was able to get past the Lower Columbia midfield, but ran into the defensive back line. She quickly laid the ball off to her fellow attacker Lambert who scored her second goal of the game in the 28th minute. Again, VanOrd got the assist, her second of the game to Lambert.
Titans led 3-1 going into halftime. Mertz praised her team’s effort in the first half.
“That was probably the best soccer they have played all year,” Mertz said about her team’s success in the first half of play.
Lower Columbia started with the ball to begin the second half hoping to make this a better game than it was in the first half.
Both defenses stepped up in the second half and allowed zero goals. Lane reigned victorious by a score of 3-1 and advanced to the next round of the playoffs.
The Titans were unable to advance to the NWAC semi-finals, losing to the Peninsula Pirates 3-0 on Nov. 4.