Lions settle for tie with Oakers
Lincoln can’t hold on to pair of one-goal leads in second half
COVENTRY — Having watched his team endure its first defeat of the season on Tuesday at Exeter/West Greenwich, Coventry coach Chris Daigneault was eager to see his team return to the field as soon as possible and correct the mistakes.
Thursday, the Oakers saw a better all-around effort from their players, which in the end, resulted in a 3-3 tie with visiting Lincoln, bumping their record to 3-1-1 on the year.
“Coming off of the way they played on Tuesday, I would say they showed a lot of fight today. We played more like our game,” Daigneault said afterwards.
Sydney Resendes, Lauren Deus and Anna Kalooksi provided the scoring for the Oakers, while the Lions got their three goals from Lily Loparto, Jenna Iaciofano and Riley Specht.
The key for Coventry was maintaining control of the ball and making smart passes in the offensive end.
“Most games that we have been playing this year, possession-wise, we have been really out-possessing teams 70-30. I would say and we got back to that today,” Daigneault said.
Resendes scored in the third minute of play, to help set the pace early, though it would prove to be Coventry’s only goal of the opening half. Abigail Harbeck.assisted on the goal.
Lincoln’s offense was dormant early, as it appeared that they would head into the break down a goal, but Loparto tied the game with less than a minute remaining before halftime, sparking life into the Lions, as her shot got past Oaker goalkeeper Liz Kenney.
Coach Chris Allen was impressed by his team’s ability to overcome their lethargic start, combined with Coventry’s early score.
“A very physical game. Two strong and defensive teams that took their time,” he said.
“They got the early goal right away, then I think we settled it down and kind of established ourselves by the end of the first (half). I thought we were playing a little more the way we would like to play,” he said.
After Iaciofano gave the visitors their first lead in the 44th minute, Coventry responded less than two minutes later on a successful penalty kick by Deus, knotting the score up at 2.
Lincoln reclaimed the lead in the 49th minute with Specht seizing the moment as Kenney was unable to corral a loose ball, but it would be Coventry netting the day’s final goal as Jordan Dwyer connected on a pass to Anna Kalooski who converted the equalizer in the 59th minute.
“The back and forth was a little nerve wracking, but a good, strong performance fm both sides,” Allen said of the up and down play both sides displayed in the second half.
He is confident by the direction his club is headed in with plenty of soccer left to be played.
“Overall, we’re moving forward. That puts up to 2-1-2, so we’re right in the middle of the pack. We’re doing what we need to do, but there is always room for improvement and games like these give us something to work on,” Allen said.
On the other side, while content with their overall effort, Daigneault would like to see his team capitalize on their opportunities a little more effectively.
“We just have to work a little harder on finishing our chances and avoiding those little breakdowns, because we probably had five or six breakdowns and they put three of them in,” he said of the Lions’ scoring on the day.
The Oakers have a full week to prepare for their next contest when they travel to Riverside to take on Bay View Academy on September 22. Lincoln will be back in action next Monday when they host Cumberland at 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln junior midfielder Lily Loparto (7, right) scored a goal late in the first half of Thursday’s 3-3 tie with Coventry. The Lions are now 2-1-2 in Division I.
After falling behind by a goal in the first half, Lincoln responded with three goals over the final 43 minutes of Thursday afternoon’s Division I contest with Coventry. The Lions earned a 3-3 draw headed into Monday’s game against Cumberland.