It took a little but, but the Judge Memorial offense finally starting clicking against Richfield in its Class 3A girls’ soccer state tournament opener Wednesday.
And the Bulldogs didn’t let up, posting a 6-0 victory on their home field.
“We had plenty of shots that were getting blocked,” Judge Memorial coach Scott Platz said. “They kind of parked the bus defensively at the start, and I don’t think we really were prepared to have as much space as we did.”
Judge put the pressure on Richfield early, peppering the Wildcats goal with shots. And aside from a few early chances, Richfield’s offense was no match for Judge, which finally broke through in the 34th minute. The first goal came from McKayla Murchinson, who was in the middle of the penalty box when a pass came through for her to sneak past the goalkeeper.
Richfield’s defense did all it could to stay in the game and kept it a one-goal deficit until midway through the second half, which is when things began to unravel. Judge scored five times in an 11-minute span.
The onslaught was led by Sophia Ewing and Killian Lamanna with two goals apiece. Ewing scored in the 62nd and 72nd minutes, and Lamanna found the back of the net in the 69th and 75th.
Judge got its sixth goal of the game in the 78th minute from Jillian Nelson.
“It was really exciting to win and be able to move on to the next round,” Ewing said. “We wanted to score early in the game to get the offensive going. It took us a while to get that to happen, but eventually in the second half the goals kept coming.”
While he feels his team came out a little flat to start the game, Platz likes where his team is at as it moves on to face Delta in the quarterfinal round.
“I think we got some positive momentum going,” he said. “The girls are trying to pick up what I’m giving them. We’re scoring some goals, and more importantly we’re keeping them out.”