WENATCHEE — On surprisingly cold afternoon Saturday, the Wenatchee Panthers earned a 2-0 win over Moses Lake. The Panther defense was solid again, with their third clean-sheet on the season.
“I thought our defense played very well. The whole team came out and played solid. We moved the ball well and possessed the ball well. We created some good shot opportunities. We didn’t capitalize on as many as we would like, similar to the Eastmont game,” said Wenatchee Head Coach John Springer.
Unlike the Eastmont game, which Wenatchee lost 1-0, a couple shots did go in against the Chiefs.
“I was impressed with the shot selection we had. It’s just a matter of being a little more patient just as we’re shooting to find their target and aim for their target,” Springer said.
Springer said they always have to be ready for Moses Lake, because they always play hard and never quit.
“You can never relax no matter the score. You can be up three goals on them, then they’ll come back to tie it. They have a never quit mentality,” he said. “At the same time, I felt our girls were in control the majority of the match. It allowed us to work on several things. It was nice to see them implement the things we’ve been working on.”
Sophomore Halle Stegeman scored the first goal at the 28 minute mark. Stegeman connected on a free kick from 24-yard out. The ball was just over the reach of the keeper. Wenatchee led 1-0 at the half.
The second goal came in the 60th minute. Junior forward Riley Grosdidier scored as the Moses Lake goalie misplayed a corner kick. The Wenatchee defense made the 2-0 lead hold up.
Springer said there was no hangover after the disappointing loss to Eastmont.
“The girls were disappointed in the (Eastmont) loss, but they knew they played well enough to win. That game could have gone either way. A couple correct calls by the ref could have changed that game in a hurry,” Springer said. “We had opportunities we did not capitalize on. Going into this game, they were excited for the opportunity to try and prove themselves they can finish those opportunities in the future.”
With the win, Wenatchee improved to 3-1 in the Big 9 and 5-2 overall. Moses Lake fell to 2-1 in the Big 9 and 2-3-1 overall. The Panthers are second behind 4-0 Eastmont. Springer said it will be interesting to see if the league title comes down to Wenatchee and Eastmont.
“We haven’t seen West Valley yet. Then, we will have seen everyone except for Ike but they are generally at the bottom,” Springer said. “Last year, we were in similar spot where we were cruising along as West Valley and Moses Lake got better as the year went along and knocked us off at the end of the season. It’s still early in the season, so you don’t want to get caught off guard. It’s more important how you finish than how you start.”
Wenatchee plays at West Valley on Tuesday. The Rams are currently 1-2 in the Big 9 and 1-4 overall. Springer teams have not won at West Valley in the seven years he has been coaching.
“They are always a tough opponent especially at West Valley,” he said. “They have a great coach who will keep working to get them ready to play. We have be careful tomorrow and make sure we finish our opportunities. We have to score when we can.”