After going scoreless in their first two league games, Stadium broke out in a big way against Yelm. The Tigers controlled much of the possession and struck for three first-half goals on their way to a 4-1 win over the Tornadoes on Sept. 26 at Stadium Bowl.
“The first two (league) games (of the season) were sloppy, and we didn’t have much of a preseason to speak of,” said Stadium head coach Jeremy Leffel. “This was really nice to see what we are actually able to do.”
Junior forward Joyce Jensen gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the tenth minute, corralling a ball 20 yards away from goal, spinning away from a defender and driving a shot in between the keeper and the right post. They doubled the lead six minutes later, as Ally Beardemphl got loose on the right side and drove a low shot that was deflected by the keeper, and Alecia Williams sent a follow-up shot into an open net.
“We settled the ball a lot more and were getting a lot more possession through the middle, and then getting it wide,” said Williams of the Tigers’ successful offensive strategy.
Stadium grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead in the 36th minute, as Sarah Boucher sent a corner into the middle, where Kristi Williams was waiting to drive it in with a header.
“That was really nice to see them connect there,” Leffel said. “We have been working a lot on some set stuff.”
The Tigers got caught with a counterattack in the 53rd minute, as Yelm cut the deficit to 3-1, but Alecia Williams tallied her second goal of the match in the 67th minute – a header off another corner from Boucher – to regain a three-goal advantage and essentially seal the match.
Leffel noted that after playing without a couple of key midfielders a 4-0 loss to Gig Harbor two days before, the emphasis was playing the ball through the middle.
“We changed our shape a little bit tonight and it looked good,” said Leffel, highlighting the efforts of junior midfielder Madison Putnam. “She worked hard tonight.”
The Tigers were set to host Olympia on Oct. 3 at 7:15 p.m., and return to action when they host Central Kitsap on Oct. 10 at 7:15 p.m.