Girls soccer loses to Land O’ Lakes in close matchup

The Bulls failed to take advantage of offensive opportunities, losing a close game.


Brian Parker

Senior forward Kat Llanos fights for the ball on offense.

The Wiregrass Bulls girls soccer team lost to Land O’ Lakes High School by a score of 1-0 on Monday night. The Bulls fought hard, but failed to capitalize on offensive opportunities.

“We need to improve on possession and first touch to change the outcome of games,” Junior defender Kylie Keys commented.

Senior defender Ysa Novak attempting to throw in the ball.

The first half started out slow for both teams, with neither team able to start any offense or get the ball moving. The Bulls caught their offensive stride with 15 minutes left, after Junior striker Christie Faddoul hit the pipe on a shot.

The two teams then went back and forth with possessions, both teams defending their goal well. Senior defender Marin Yeagle blocked a Gator’s shot with 11 minutes left in the first half.

With 9 minutes left, Sophomore midfielder Merrick Rees almost gave the Bulls their first goal after a shot attempt, but the Land O’ Lakes goalie made a remarkable save to keep the score tied at 0.

The Gators received a yellow card after a hard slide tackle with 5 minutes left, but Wiregrass failed to capitalize on the free kick. Land O’ Lakes scored the first and only goal of the game off of a corner kick shot that bent straight into the net, giving the Gators a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

While the offense may not have been playing to their potential, the defense proved themselves, keeping the Bulls in a close game.

Junior defender Mckenzie Noland clearing the ball downfield.

“We played well defensively,” Senior captain Ysa Novak stated after the game. “We shut down the forwards, and only allowed them to get on our side of the field four times the entire game.”

After halftime, the two teams started off relatively similar, unable to get any offensive breaks. With 27 minutes remaining, the Bulls defense made another stop, cutting off a through ball that would’ve led to a sure goal.

The Bulls’ offense picked up the pace with 23 minutes left, when Junior striker Avery Damjanovic had a close shot on goal that missed just left. Hoping to score and tie the game, Damjanovic went on an offensive run, beating her defender and getting to the goal with 16 minutes left, but was stopped by the goalie for Land O’ Lakes, who made another difficult save.

With 12 minutes left, the Gators goalie made yet another good save off a corner kick attempt, sealing the win for Land O’ Lakes after the Bulls struggled to create any offense for the remainder of the game.

The Bulls now take a much needed two week break, returning to the pitch after winter break.

Assistant coach Gjergji Karanxha is excited for the team’s return.

“After the game, we had seven players with injuries, Karanxha explained. “The break helps us recover from the injuries we have. In January we will have the full team, eager to win again.”

The Bulls play next on January 5th at Calvary Christian, due to the game against Cypress Creek on Thursday being canceled.