LAKEWOOD — Kayla Latham figured it was just a matter of time before the Dakota Ridge Lady Eagles would score. When they did — and, incidentally, it was on a goal by her — it was the momentum shift they needed in the South Jeffco Invitational.
Latham and Annika Kastetter each scored second-half goals as Dakota Ridge scored its first victory of the season, a 2-0 decision over Evergreen at Lakewood Memorial Field on March 16. Latham scored off a corner kick from Madie Weeks in the 47th minute. It was one of five corner kicks for Dakota Ridge (1-2).
“Madie set a great ball. It was bound to come. We were building it up. We had a lot of opportunities, and finally it went in. It was a good goal,” Latham said.
Ten minutes later, Kastetter scored off a free kick to push Dakota Ridge’s lead to 2-0. Even though the Lady Cougars are off to an 0-3 start, head coach Peter Jeans was optimistic after the way his team played.
“I thought we played a really good game all game. I told (the players) that I thought they played super-hard. The effort was there, and we caused them problems, but we never did actually score. We had a lot of really good chances,” Jeans said.
Especially in the first half. Twice Jahna Pesudo nearly scored, but a header just went over the crossbar and then in the final minute of the half another shot from point-blank range was deflected out by Dakota Ridge keeper Kendall Fischer.
“We struggled picking stuff up in the first half defensively,” Dakota Ridge head coach Damon Smerchek said. “They had a formation that we just didn’t know what to do with it. We talked about it at halftime.”
Once the Lady Eagles solved Evergreen’s extra midfielder, Latham gave them the lead.
Jeans was pleased with the Lady Cougars’ effort, but he knows his team has to score goals to change the dynamics of the game. Evergreen has been outscored 8-2 thus far.
“Both of theirs were set pieces, which is almost like a game within a game, and we lost the game within the game 2-0,” Jeans said. “The rest of the game was 0-0.”
Sarah Temple made seven saves for 4A Evergreen.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.