Ball control nets Lakers win

Lakers shutout Mt. Boucherie Bears to improve record to 2-1.

PENTICTON LAKERS netminder Caroline Rahkola prepares to block this shot by a Mt. Boucherie Bears forward during high school girls field hockey action at Penticton Secondary School on Tuesday. Defending for the Lakers are Sabrina Warkentin (left) Ana Moroziuk (centre) and Deanna Bravo. Below

PENTICTON LAKERS netminder Caroline Rahkola prepares to block this shot by a Mt. Boucherie Bears forward during high school girls field hockey action at Penticton Secondary School on Tuesday. Defending for the Lakers are Sabrina Warkentin (left) Ana Moroziuk (centre) and Deanna Bravo. Below

A shutout effort against the Mt. Boucherie Bears improved the Pen High Lakers senior girls’ field hockey teams record to 2-1.

Merle Schrader of Germany scored two goals for the Lakers in the first half, then Anje Grakul added another late goal to secure a 3-0 win in AAA Okanagan Valley Senior Girls action.

Jessie Garcha of the Lakers said she felt they played really well despite having one less player. She said the Lakers spaced themselves well on the field and mid-field players provided good support. The challenge for the Lakers against the Bears was playing with two defenders as they normally have three.

“They are an aggressive team but we got past that,” said Garcha.

Lakers coach Shaun Johnston said in an email that she encouraged her players to “let the ball do the work.”

“I was really pleased with how they found open teammates and used the pass,” said Johnston. “In fact, the first two goals were initiated on our own side of center.  Three or four passes later, the ball was in the back of the net.”

Goals by Schrader and Grakul were also the result of strong communication, according to Garcha.

“Communication was a big deal, knowing where people are,” she said.

The goaltending of Caroline Rahkola was also key.

“Caroline did really well. She had a few good saves,” said Garcha of the rookie goalie. “The defence helped a lot with that too.”

Rahkola said the Bears played well, especially when bringing the ball up the field, but the Lakers’ defence was able to contain their attack for the most part.

“I didn’t have to do much,” she said with a smile.

Johnston said the Bears have athletic players, despite not having a lot of game experience. From her perspective, the game was even territorially. The difference was the Lakers capitalized on their chances.

“By moving the ball quickly up field, we outnumbered them in the goal area and scored from in close,” said Johnston.

The victory for the Lakers was important in terms of their league ranking. The Lakers are third in the four-team league. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Lakers lost in South Kamloops to the Titans 6-0. Lakers coach Shaun Johnston said the Titans are a strong, fast team used to playing on artificial turf.  Johnston liked how her team defended in the opening half as they limited the Titans to a 2-0 lead.

“In the second half, though, the girls got worn down as they were playing without any substitutes,” she said. The Lakers’ next home game is Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. against the Titans.