Curtis head coach Frank Hankel has a real dilemma on occasions – his team is loaded with good, young talent that shows flashes of brilliance at times, but can also make young mistakes. This was on display on Oct. 9 at Vikings Stadium, as Curtis would explode to an early 4-1 lead in the first half, only to see it all but disappear in the second half. In the end the Lady Vikes would hold on for a 4-3 win to stay on the heels of the Puyallup Vikings at 8-1-2 overall.
“There were so many ebbs and flows to this game, a lot more than I would have liked to see, but it was good to hang on and win in the end,” said Hankel.
Curtis started fast, scoring the game’s first three goals. Amanda Ellinghaus opened the scoring in the 15th minute on a goal in front of the net, assisted by Lanie Vinson. Four minutes later L.A. Lambert scored off of an assist from Vinson again for a 2-0 lead. Then Maddie Lockwood made it a three-goal lead in the 30th minute, and everything was great for the Lady Vikes. Just before halftime and nursing a 3-1 lead, Vinson added a goal to her two assists in the 38th minute.
“Our offense got off to a great start, we were able to spread the field and get a lot of through balls to open players for our four goals in the first half,” said Vinson.
The second half was a different story. Emerald Ridge reacted fast, with two goals in the first eight minutes of the half and with 32 minutes left, the lead was cut to 4-3.
“Emerald Ridge is a well-coached team, but once we got over our mental lapses on defense our side played some pretty good soccer after we took some of their best punches,” said Hankel.
Neither team threatened much after the Jaguars cut the lead to one, and in the end Curtis’ thoughts turned to the rest of the season.
“We can’t afford to get content in spurts and give up easy goals, and we can’t do that against the good teams late in the season,” said Vinson.
“We sometimes forget how young we are with all of our talent, because mistakes can be made as easy as goals are scored” said Hankel. “I can’t say enough about the club soccer here in University Place. It has been big in our team’s development too.”