Region soccer: Newsome 5, Orlando Lake Nona 0
LITHIA – With a team averaging more than four goals per match, with four players in double-digit scoring on the year, and an unblemished record, being the goalkeeper can sometimes be a lonely and thankless job.
Newsome senior co-captain Madison Rowe showed a good sense of humor after the Wolves' Class 5A region quarterfinal win, 5-0 over Orlando Lake Nona on Thursday. She was determined to “not be one to let the ball in the net.”
The Wolves' potent offense was on display, but Rowe was far more than an ancillary figure. More to the point Rowe was the show making nine saves, including a pair of penalty-kick stops in the shutout win.
“Sometimes I can get bored back there with this (offesnse),” Rowe said. “They always joke with me saying, ‘Oh, you just stand there.'"
“So it’s nice to have a game like this and be able to prove myself out there.”
Lauren Evans got all Newsome (18-0-3) would need in the second minute as a Jenna Oldham free kick near midfield bounced off a Lake Nona (14-3-1) defender and right to the senior midfielder, who drilled a goal deflecting off the Lions keeper and across the line.
“In practice we’ve been taught that if we get that first goal its hard to be taken down the rest of the way,” Evans said. “You just have to come out with the mindset that you are going to score first and that’s going to lead to the win.”
Minutes later Rowe made her first save, deflecting a skipping shot to her left, to a waiting defender for the clear.
Addison Ura added to the Wolves lead in the ninth following after a Sophie Shrader shot went off the Lions keeper with a right foot shot.
Two minutes later, Rowe again came through with a solid kick save on a play that resulted in the officials awarding Lake Nona a penalty kick. The Wolves keeper looked at ease diving and swatting away the chance from Hannah Tellysh.
Tellysh had no answer for Rowe, who began the second half by coming off her line as the Lions attacker got through the Wolves defense and defended away two point-blank shots inside the 18-yard box.
“Madison played out of her mind tonight, just amazing,” Wolves coach Kelly Townsend said. “She made plays tonight that against other keepers this could have easily been four goals different.”
The Wolves offense responded as Shrader connected off a Ura pass, followed a few minutes later by Evans coming through with a big boot in the 48th minute.
Rowe’s display wasn’t over however, in the 72nd minute she again came up with a penalty kick block on Kendall Bobbit, diving to her left and swatting away the opportunity.
“Those two plays on penalty kicks were awesome,” Townsend said. “They really pumped up the rest of our team to keep pushing forward.”
Rowe was aided by strong defensive play from Andrea Tamayo and Lily Lakich, as Newsome recorded its 13th shutout of the season.
“We are a team on a mission,” Rowe said. “I had to give it everything I had, because we want to go to states and that means giving everything we have in us.”
Schrader added her second of the night and her team-leading 31st goal of the season in the game's waning minutes.