Draper • East's Janie Kearl was itching for a big game. No goals in three games so far was hanging over her head like a cloud.
"I woke up this morning and said 'I'm gonna score,' " the junior forward said. "That first half I was really frustrated, but we opened things up in the second half, I think."
Kearl helped East rip open a 3-1 win over Juan Diego on the road Tuesday night. The pint-sized Leopard hammered a pair of goals home in the second half that broke a 1-1 deadlock and gave East its third win of the season.
It was a result the Leopards were anxious for after struggling at the start.
"Juan Diego was really beating us up hard," coach Rudy Schenk said. "They were playing hard and physical, and we needed to match that intensity."
East addressed some initial offensive issues by changing formation, putting speedster Peti Manu at the forefront of its attack. Although Manu didn't score any goals, her presence helped free up Kearl to fire a few shots on the Soaring Eagle's net.
The first strike came off a corner kick, as Kearl launched a header into the goal to give the Leopards a 2-1 lead, their first of the game.
Only nine minutes later, she followed up a Manu shot that Juan Diego keeper Melanie Meacham was able to block with a dive. Kearl had no problem burying the rebound for an insurance score.
Juan Diego had taken the initial lead in the sixth minute with a Mattie Muzatko score, a quick poke to the right of East keeper Whitney Simoneti. East's Madison Roemer had a swift response, crossing a hard kick past Meacham into the corner.
Storylines East 3, Juan Diego 1
R East's Janie Kearl scores two second-half goals to give the Leopards a win.
• Madison Roemer also scores a goal for East.
• Mattie Muzatko gets the lone goal for Juan Diego in the loss.