Lauren Barton shows off her big foot vs. Auburn
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
DUDLEY – The Shepherd Hill girls soccer team will be looking for more than just revenge this Thursday night (October 18) when they take on the undefeated Auburn Rockets in Auburn for the second time this year.
With the District playoffs looming, a win over the Rockets, who they lost to last week 3-1, could put them in an elite group and gain them a higher seed, but even more than that it’s about respect. The Rams are an excellent soccer team, deep with talent, that is looking to go far in the playoffs.
One amazing stat about the Rams is that 19 of the 22 girls on the team have scored this season, which shows they are truly a “team” in every sense of the word.
One of their leaders is senior co-captain Lauren Barton, who anchors their outstanding defensive line, and has been a main contributor to the team since she was a freshman.
Rams coach Sarah Garneau has high praise for Barton. “She has been our central defender since she was a freshman; she runs the whole defense, she is awesome. She is a great role model for the rest of the girls.”
Barton, who will be playing Division 1 soccer at Manhattan College next year along with Auburn star Liz Carlson, knows how important beating the Rockets is and like her teammates wants to beat them and end their winning streak.
“I thought we played really well against them (last week),” said Barton about the 3-1 loss. “We moved the ball really well and I thought everyone worked really hard, the only thing that broke us down was that they got behind us three times and the ball just happened to go in three times.”
Normally the Rams are superb at drawing offside calls, but Carlson is so crafty that she capitalized on the opportunities when the defense had eve the slightest breakdown.
“We have been preparing for Auburn all season, but they had a couple of quick moves that we couldn’t stop,” said senior Tina Gauvin. “This time we are going to prepare by playing tougher defense, covering Lizzy (Carlson) a little more and just trying to dominate them.”
Leading Rams goal scorer Amanda Keovongmanysar, who also took the Auburn loss hard and is looking forward to another shot at them said, “Their team was really good last year and they have that streak. We want to snap that streak and we are happy to get a second chance to do it.”
“We have to play harder and be more consistent; if they score we have to stay up,” said senior Taylor Daniels, whose physical style and presence will be key to the Rams as they move ahead.
Ultimately it will come down to containing Carlson and junior goalie Meghan Dunn knows that. “We have to watch Lizzy more and not let her run wherever she wants. She’s all over the field, she shows up everywhere.”
Dunn, who stepped up for her team and took on the role as goalie following the loss of Emily Bagley late last season, has been solid all year despite playing with a torn quad.
“She is an absolute fantastic goalie. I am so proud of her,” said Daniels of Dunn’s play.
“It was something that had to be done,” said Dunn on becoming the team’s goalie. “We didn’t really have a goalie so I stepped up and asked to do it. Lauren (Barton) really helps me out a lot, she is so fast and she always tracks people down on defense. She is really good. My whole defense has been really helping me out a lot. Our backline is really good. I think they are one of the best in Central Mass.”
The Rams are an exceptional soccer team both offensively and defensively, with outstanding senior leadership, and if they play up to their potential they could go far in the playoffs. A win over Auburn would be a great way to get some momentum going on and set up what could be a big playoff run.
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- Monday, 15 October 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports