Lawson’s goal keeps No. 5 Schroeder undefeated

By PAUL GOTHAM

WEBSTER, N.Y. — Five of the past six head-to-head matchups between Penfield and Webster Schroeder girls’ soccer have been decided by one goal or finished in a draw.

Thursday’s tilt stayed with the pattern.

A first-half score proved to be the difference as the Webster Schroeder (No. 5 NYSSWA Class AA) edged Penfield (No. 16 NYSSWA Class AA), 1-0 in Monroe County Division I action.

“Penfield and Schroeder probably the last five, six years has really become the rival game for us,” Schroeder head coach Kent Brown said. “Not the traditional rivalry where it’s collisions and that type of stuff happens on the field.

“There’s a lot of respect between these teams. You see that when you watch it. The kids played really hard and physical on the ball, but it’s not any clipping or anything like that. It was a hard-fought game. It’s been like that for a long time.”

Junior Erika Lawson provided all the offense when she one-timed the rebound off teammate Anna Hewlett’s shot for her fifth marker of the season.

“That was great,” Lawson said. “When I saw Anna shooting it, that was like a ripper, man. That was so fast I knew it was either going to go in the goal or bounce off the keeper. Luckily it bounced off the keeper and I was able to shoot it in.”

The sequence was one of three early opportunities for Hewlett as part of early pressure from the Warriors.

“I thought the first 20 minutes was some of our best soccer in two years,” Brown noted. “We were knocking the ball around. We were inside the 18. We were playing a lot two-three touch. Our legs were really good and we were able to run.”

Schroeder, though, was not able to widen the margin.

“Soccer is soccer,” Brown quipped. “We didn’t get that second goal. It became a ballgame after Penfield settled down. They had large parts where I thought they had the better play. They had chances to score.”

The two teams played to a scoreless draw earlier in the season. That was third straight similar result in regular season meetings. Schroeder downed the Patriots 1-0 in last year’s Class AA final.

Megan Fry made nine saves for her 11th shutout of the campaign. Many of those stops came in the second half. Brown pointed out that the momentum changed when Hewlett was forced to the sideline after having her wind knocked out in the second stanza.

“The second half we talked about coming out and trying to pick up from what we did the first 25 minutes of the game. One of the things that threw us off was when Anna went down, the mentality of the team changed. We went very quiet on the field. I thought we started the second half well and then Anna came off and the shoulders went down and the personalities changed. Penfield had the much better play. That was when I thought they had some really good chances to get inside the 18 there. When Anna got back up, the body language on the field changed.”

Schroeder (11-0-3) won its eighth straight and has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 25-3 overall.

Penfield dropped to 8-1-3 with the setback. The Patriots had won six consecutive games entering the contest. The Patriots took the 2017 meeting, 2-0.

Schroeder plays at Rush-Henrietta next Wednesday. A 4:30 PM start is slated. Penfield visits Spencerport on Saturday for a noon kickoff.

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