New faces on the sideline and new players scoring goals were at the forefront of Bend High’s home opener at 15th Street Field.
A 3-0 win over Ridgeview marked the Lava Bear girls soccer team’s first victory of the season Tuesday night. It also was the first win for first-year coach Alyssa Dalgleish, who replaced Gavin Meyers as the coach this fall.
“It feels good to get that first one out of the way,” said Dalgleish, a 2006 Bend High grad. “The girls came out and played well, the tempo was there the whole time, they stayed focused and they started getting them in the back of the net.”
There was a bit of shyness among players in the program that was going through a coaching change. But once the players realized that their new coach once played on the same field and sat in the same wooden bleachers more than a decade ago, a team started to take shape.
“It was a little rocky in the beginning because we weren’t super talkative because she was new and it was kinda scary,” said senior Lexi Fritz. “But we have adapted really well.”
Tuesday evening against the Ravens, all seemed to be working for the team under new leadership.
A three-goal avalanche in a 10-minute stretch midway through the second half turned a scoreless tie into an insurmountable lead for the Lava Bears. Senior Sydney Sventek scored twice and junior Jordan Welsh netted one in the win.
Sventek, a newcomer to the Lava Bear program herself, broke the scoreless tie on a free kick that pinballed around in the goal area before the senior finally got her foot on the ball to sneak it by the Ridgeview goalkeeper.
“It was fun to play with the team and figure out how we are playing together,” said Sventek, who moved to Bend from Flagstaff, Arizona. “We figured out a lot of things in this game so it feels good to play well and to win.”
The Lava Bears improved at controlling the ball since their opening-game loss to Lake Oswego, basically setting up camp in Ridgeview’s half of the field. But for the first 40 minutes, despite several scoring chances, no goals were scored.
“We had to continue to be patient and communication was key,” Dalgleish said. “Letting girls know when you have time so that we can structure the passes that we need to make. We were able to keep that momentum in the second half. We weren’t able to finish in the first half, but that changed in the second half.”
Fritz, a senior captain goalkeeper, turned in her first clean sheet of the season by not allowing a goal.
Despite Bend dominating possession, Ridgeview had a couple of scoring chances off of counter attacks that threatened the shutout.
“I was worried in the second half because it was a lot of me standing,” Fritz said. “I was worried I wasn’t going to make a save.”
The win over the Ravens, who won the 5A Intermountain Conference the past two seasons, was not just the first of the year or the first of a new coach, but a stepping stone toward another winning season for the Lava Bears.
“I want them to continue to gel,” Dalgleish said. “This was a good win to get under our belt because it is a confidence-builder. We are just trying to see improvement every day and move in the right direction. Even this week from last week it is night and day. We are moving in the right direction.”