By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — Moore coach Lorie Witherspoon knew it was a tough way to open the 2013 soccer season. Playing Westmoore on their home field on the 25th anniversary of Soccer Moore War made the game than it already was.
But the Lions found a way to overcome the distractions and prevailed in 3-2 shootout victory over the Jaguars Friday at WMH.
“My team performed well Friday night,” Witherspoon said. “The team knew that a battle was to be fought and they prepared like the champions they are.”
Westmoore coach Robert Williams was on the other side of a tough Moore War matchup a few years ago to start a season. Now he knows how difficult it is to be on the losing side.
“That was a tough loss to open the season,” Williams said. “Honestly, it was the first time since I’ve been here at Westmoore. We beat them in 2008 in the same manner. We won on penalty kicks after I think they controlled most of the game.”
But it was the Lions who jumped out to a seemingly comfortable 2-0 advantage in the first half off goals from freshman Brandi Whitehouse.
However, the Jaguars stormed back to tie the contest after Katelyn Pamlin and Rebecca Randolph got the ball past MHS keeper Kenady Maynard. The game was headed to a shootout.
Maynard was able to come up with a save o on the jaguars first penalty kick. That was enough for the Lions as Mikah Stroh, Jordan Cleveland an Cindy Ramos all got their shots past Elle Stover to win the game.
“This was a huge win for the women’s program, the first win over Westmoore in seven years,” Witherspoon said. “A win at this stage in the season really helps set the pace for what the players can accomplish as a team.”
Despite the loss, Williams liked much of what he saw from his Jaguars and knows they will be able to put the sting of the defeat behind them.
“Overall I think we did well as a team,” Williams said. “We came back from being down two goals to tie it up. I don’t think we gave up a shot in the second half so the girls corrected what we needed to correct. The girls know how they played and other than our pride being hurt we will be OK.”
Westmoore will host Norman High Friday while the Lions face Southmoore Friday at Moore Stadium.
“I have asked the girls to play like the champions they are, with a warrior spirit, as we know that every game comes with its own set out battles,” Witherspoon said. “If we can set small goals every game, our team goal will be reached.”
Westmoore 1, Moore 0 — Johnny Alvarez scored the games only goal in the second to give the Jaguars the victory. Goalkeeper Chandler Dawson came up with six saves.