Sep. 16—For nearly the entire game Wednesday night against No. 9 Tri-West, the Lebanon girls soccer team defended the way they wanted to.
But, in the few brief moments in which they let their guard down, the Bruins showed why they are one of the better teams in the state.
Tri-West scored goals early in each of the two halves and held on to defeat Lebanon 2-1.
"They can possess the midfield really well and they have dangerous players up top," Lebanon head coach Nick Hyatt said. "I thought we defended for large portions of the game really well, and tried to counter them. Unfortunately they got two goals and we could only get the one.
The game was even through most of the early parts of the first half before the Bruins Hope Donald got free past the Lebanon defense and scored to make it 1-0 with 30:52 left in the first half.
Right before the half Lebanon was able to get the equalizer. The Tigers got a free kick just outside the box and senior Irene Ransom perfectly placed a shot past the Tri-West goalkeeper and into the back of the net to tie the game.
The timing of the goal couldn't have been more perfect right before the half, but the Tigers weren't able to capitalize on the momentum in the early part of the second half.
"That goal gave us some belief," Hyatt said. "We were sitting a little bit deeper because they were keeping us pinned back. But Irene has a really nice free kick, and we were able to capitalize on that chance. We knew we weren't going to get a lot of chances, and we got that one in."
The Bruins took the lead less than 10 minutes into the second half, when after a bit of a scramble in the box, Tri-West scored to take a 2-1 lead.
"If you switch off for just a second, they can slip in behind," Hyatt said. "They are aggressive and that's what happened. It's hard to defend for large portions of the game, and we just had one little lapse and they scored."
Riley Jump nearly tied the game five minutes later, but couldn't finish an opportunity.
That was the best chance the Tigers had in the second half.
The Tigers, now 5-4 and 3-1 in the Sagamore, face Danville on Monday and Frankfort on Wednesday.
"I am pleased with our effort and the way we executed our gameplan," Hyatt said. "They are always a tough side and I think we can build off of this, especially heading into Danville on Monday."
Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.