Here we are for the third-fourth place game between Southridge and Prairie.
When you get to the Final Four in Lakewood, only two teams can go home with a victory — the state champion and the consolation winner. In the grand scheme of things, fourth place is still pretty good, but no team wants to end its season with two losses at Harry Lang Stadium.
Prairie got a chance just 13 minutes in when Meghan Sorensen whiffed on a clearance attempt in the Suns' defensive zone, leaving a one-on-one opportunity for Falcons' midfielder Payton Meisner. But Meisner couldn't control the ball in time, and the Southridge defense was able to recover and clear the ball.
Two minutes later, the Suns got on the board. Heather Johnson dribbled down the left flank and centered the ball to Michelle Foster, who was making a run to the far post. Foster had to backtrack a bit to retrieve the pass, but she wheeled around from 16 yards and knocked it into the upper right corner for a 1-0 lead.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Johnson wasn't too happy with yesterday's result, and she's really taking it out on Prairie today. She's playing inspired soccer, and I don't see anybody on the Falcons who can compete with her one-on-one.
1-0 Suns 15 minutes in.
Paige Sorensen took a big hit near the end of yesterday's 2-0 loss to Seattle Prep but it's good to see her back in the lineup. She just intercepted a pass on defense and dribbled nearly three quarters the length of the field on a counter attack. Nothing came of it, but it's a good indication of where the Suns are mentally.
Half ends 1-0 Southridge. The Suns are in control, but I'm not sure they're too comfortable with a one-goal lead. There's too much that can happen.
Five minutes into second half now. Southridge draws a free kick just outside the Prairie 18, and Randi Andreatta sends the kick right to left just off the far post. Kat Tsoukalas is there for the pass and gets a foot on it, but she can't make a shot out of it. A good opportunity to start the second half, showing no letdown from the Southridge side.
Ten minutes left and the Suns are still holding on to a 1-0 lead. They're still in control, but the last few minutes of a tight game are always a bit precarious. Prairie will no doubt bring some numbers up on offense, and I expect Southridge will tighten things up in the back. A few weeks ago, the Suns brought Johnson back as a sweeper on defense to secure a close victory. I wouldn't be surprised to see that again very shortly.