Lindsay Stapleton’s name does not show up on the Summit varsity roster. Her name can be found on the junior varsity roster.
But with starting goalkeeper Katie Smithey sidelined with toe and thumb injuries, Stapleton got the call-up.
On a chilly Tuesday evening against rival Bend High in the Mountain Valley Conference girls soccer opener for both teams, Stapleton turned in a clean sheet to lift the Storm (5-3, 1-0 MVC) to a 2-0 win over the Lava Bears (5-3, 0-1).
“Lindsay has come up and has been playing outstanding all the way through,” said Summit coach Jamie Brock. “This is probably the third big, huge game for her because she had some huge saves. She had a super good performance.”
Stapleton was tested in the first minute of the match when Bend’s Liliauna Lucas broke free from the Summit backline with no one between her and Stapleton. With a lunge at the ball, Stapleton won the showdown to keep it out of the net.
“The pressure makes me work harder and that gets me going,” said Stapleton, who has found herself getting more and more comfortable in goal with each passing game.
Life in goal, as Stapleton said, is much easier when working with a two-goal advantage.
Summit broke the scoreless tie midway through the first half when Shea Campbell delivered a pinpoint pass to Bree Stroud, who worked around Bend keeper Jenna Cornett for the score.
“It was a great ball from Shea. She just dropped it right in,” Stroud said. “I know that keeper, so I know she was going to come out, so I thought I’ll just tip it up and kick it in.”
The one-goal lead grew to two with 12 minutes left in the first half when a Maddie Beeh shot was deflected and landed at the feet of Morgan Hanson, who did not miss.
“One of our goals this year was to play to win,” Brock said. “We’ve had some rough starts to our first halves. That wasn’t the case today. From the first whistle we wanted to win. I think that showed up.”
While the final score may reflect a one-sided match, Bend certainly had its opportunities to score, especially in the second half.
The difference: Summit found the back of the net, Bend did not.
“They had a couple opportunities and they capitalized on them and we didn’t do the same,” said Bend coach Gavin Meyers, whose team saw its three-game winning streak snapped. “I think we outplayed them in the second half, the first half they absolutely got us. That’s how the cookie crumbles.”
For Summit, Tuesday’s match marked the first time this season that it put a complete game together, according to Brock.
“This group has been struggling to find out who they are,” Brock said. “We’ve had halves where we’ve shown what I call ‘our uglies.’ But this would have been a scenario where you are expected to play your best, and you certainly want to play your best against Bend High.”
With a conference win in hand, Summit will host McNary on Friday, while Bend will look to rebound on the road against McKay.
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