Alejandra Sanchez scored two goals, including one in the first minute of play for Lowell High School in its 4-1 dominating victory over visiting Lick-Wilmerding on Monday.
“[Sanchez] was fearless out there today,” first-year Lowell coach Marcos Estebez said. “We really wore them down with good, long diagonal balls and good teamwork. I’m still getting to know the new players, especially since we have 11 freshmen on this team.”
The Cardinals (2-0-1) took 14 shots on goal throughout the game and controlled the time of possession.
Katie Waters started as goalkeeper for the Tigers (3-1), who were without their starting keeper Emma Wexler because of a lingering ankle injury. Waters came up with 10 saves in her debut.
“I was excited to see Waters in goal today,” Lick coach Matt Kurnick said. “She proved to us that we have a great backup goalkeeper if we need one. She’s great on the field and is a leader on and off the field, as well.”
Hannah Axtell-Matranga put the Cardinals up 2-0 with a quick goal in the 36th minute, but Lick’s Aki Shurelds cut the lead in half with a 55th-minute goal. But the Cardinals’ offense was simply too much for the Tigers and goals in the 61st and 65th minutes put the game out of reach.
“We still have the same issues today that we did from the tournament we played at over the weekend,” Kurnick said. “We talked about it, but we haven’t actually been able to practice since then. We lost six starters to graduation and we’re learning our assignments and marking still.”
For Lowell, which won the Academic Athletic Association championship last year, this game proved that there are some major positives, but many glaring areas for improvement.
“As a team, we have a very strong defense and strong stoppers who can control the ball,” Axtell-Matranga said. “But sometimes we have passes that appear to go nowhere or that go out there blindly. All of our goals today were good goals. And the freshmen played with a ton of heart, which is something some of the upper classmen don’t have as much anymore. I think the seniors expected that they would get their starting jobs.”