Woodland uses strong second half to best rival Cass, 3-1

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Trailing early in the second half, Woodland scored three unanswered goals to help it take a 3-1 victory over county rival Cass in girls high school soccer play Friday night.

Both teams were held scoreless in the first half, and the Lady Colonels grabbed a 1-0 lead when Sidney Vermaas scored on a breakaway in the game’s 50th minute, finding net from 25 yards away in the contest played at Woodland’s soccer field.

Woodland head coach Jonathan Cannon said after the scoreless first half, he discussed it with his players during the break.

“We had some opportunities we missed on,” Cannon said. “We talked about those [scoring] opportunities, and we started capitalizing on them in the second half.”

Phil Phillips, Cass head coach, said his team gave itself enough chances to score to win but simply was unable to close the deal.

“We had plenty of opportunities to put the ball in the net,” Phillips said. “We’re getting better, but we’ve got to learn how to finish.”

Neither team found the net in the first half though both had multiple scoring opportunities.

The Lady Wildcats were blocked from scoring by Cass goalie Brianna Bullock, who was dominating thoughout the first half of the contest.

In the 52nd minute, Woodland’s Kaitlin Winnenberg found net on a breakaway to knot the score at 1-all.

The Lady Wildcats then took the lead on a shot by Winnenberg from 15 yards away in the 53rd minute and closed scoring out in the 66th minute when Keri Cagle fired just to the left of the goalie to put the finishing touches on the 3-1 victory.

Lindsay Scifers was credited with two assists to help her team offensively.

Cannon said it’s always important to pick up a victory over a rival, but he said the fact the teams are in the same region made the win even sweeter.

“We’re now 1-1 in the region,” he said. “We’ll take any win in the region.”

Phillips said Cass has a lot of young players who need to keep working on their game.

“You can see progress, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” he added.

He said the losses are tough on his team, but it has to keep its eye on improving its game.

“All these games hurt,” he said, “but it helps if we can see some kind of progress with these kids. We’ve got to learn to finish and that comes with experience.”

Woodland improved to 2-4 overall with the victory. The Lady Wildcats next play on Friday when they host Kell High with their game scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

Cass dropped to 2-4-1 overall and is 0-2 in region play. It next plays Wednesday when it visits Paulding County High. That game is to start at 5:45 p.m.