The Iowa Lakes Community College Women's soccer season came to a close this past weekend with a dramatic win and a close loss.
Last Saturday, the Lakers battled conference rival Iowa Central, who came in boasting the nation's leading attack. Iowa Lakes came away with a 4-2 win on penalty kicks.
Early on it seemed as if the Tritons were once again going to come away with the win. The Lakers who had some great opportunities in the first half found themselves down 1-0 .
"When you're playing the 10th-ranked team in the nation and you have chances with the ball right in front of the goal and can't re-direct it in you just may be doomed for a long day and come out on the losing end of the game," said Iowa Lakes coach Ammon Bennett. "Central really came out hard and had us on our heels for a good portion of the first half but our girls just kept fighting."
The second half would be one for the ages as the game seemingly was slipping away for Iowa Lakes Community College especially when the Tritons scored a second goal to go up 2-0.
"I really thought we were sunk and that the season was coming to a close but with around 17 minutes left in the game we earned a corner kick and that's when the magic started," Bennett said.
Lizzy Rasmussen took the kick and Brittney Valentine flicked the ball with her head over the defense to the Lakers' leading goal scorer Brooke Saxton (17 goals) who finished the play.
"It was huge and all of the sudden the momentum shifted and Central looked tired," said Bennett. "They still had the lead and we were still struggling to be fluid with the ball and were hoping for something positive to happen."
With 5 minutes left in the game that's just what happened. Cortnee Sanchez took a shot from just in front of the goal and outside the 18, the keeper had to make a great save and couldn't handle the ball and Rasmussen, the lakers leading point getter (16 goals 14 assists) found herself in the right spot and pounded the ball home.
The game would end in regulation and two over time periods of 10 minutes were played with both teams having opportunities.
Iowa Central however had the best chance with just under 1 minute to play in the second overtime as a breakaway was created. Lichfield however was up to the challenge and saved the game as she stopped the shot by coming off her line.
The time would run out and the Lakers and Triton were headed to a shootout.
Iowa Lakes took the first penalty and never look back as the Tritons missed the first attempt and Lichfield saved the second.
The Lakers advanced to the championship game against Iowa Western the next day.
Iowa Western 2,
Iowa Lakes 0
In one of the best games the Lakers had played all year it unfortunately wasn't enough as the season ended at the hands of the number one team in the nation 2-0.
"We really played good and had some good chances to score but it just wasn't meant to be," said Bennett. "The Reivers are a great team and I think they can win it all and we played them as hard as anyone has. The game statistically was close when you consider the shots on goal where 10 to 8 and corner kicks were 3 to 5. Just to put things into perspective on where this team has come from, in 2010 the women's team was 1-16 last year in 2011 we went 11-7-2 and this year we finished with a record of 15-6. The program also reached the Region 11 championship game for the first time in school history."
Sadly the Lakers are saying goodbye to some great sophomores. Those departing student athletes are Natasha Lichfield, Cortnee Sanchez, Brittney Valentine, Jill Brockbank, Salena Ramos, and Dani Huston.