Junior Lexi Wright scored a pair of first half goals to power No. 4 Carlsbad which opened defense of its back-to-back Avocado West League titles with a 2-0 victory over No. 2 host Torrey Pines Tuesday night, Jan. 14.
The result lifted the Lancers to 10-2 overall and dropped the Falcons to 6-2-4.
The game reversed the outcome of a neutral site, pre-season tournament match-up between the two sides where Torrey Pines prevailed, 1-0. Carlsbad was without the services of Wright in that one but she was a difference-maker last night for first-year Head Coach Katie Tarrant who was happy with her team’s performance.
“I think because of the way the pre-season went with that loss to Torrey, this was probably the most important game for the girls to set the tone for where we want to go for the rest of the season,” said Tarrant, whose team is also the defending CIF Open Division titleholder. “Both teams came out really strong and it was a good battle.
“I felt they set up a little more defensively this time—they knew Lexi was back.”
Carlsbad got on the board just inside the 10-minute mark thanks to an errant clearing attempt by Torrey Pines. The wayward pass ended up at the feet of Wright who cut wide to evade a Falcon defender and when goalkeeper Arielle Hernquist came out, she placed it in the low corner. The Lancers doubled the margin later in the half when Wright got her head on a well-placed corner by sophomore Kendall Healy and directed it to the far post. She was pleased afterward.
“We came out on fire and this was a great way to start league, said Wright, who now has a whopping 26 goals on the season. “Torrey Pines is a great team so to get two goals against them is satisfying. I like the way we’re playing—our work ethic and team play is improving each game.”
The contest didn’t unfold the way Torrey Pines’ Head Coach Martyn Hansford envisioned.
“We didn’t play to the best of our abilities but goals change games and giving away an early goal like that didn’t do anything for our confidence,” offered Hansford. “We had a game plan laid out and it didn’t include us conceding in the first 10 minutes—it was on us.
“They’re a very good team and when something like that happens the most important thing is how you respond—we didn’t have the right type of response tonight.” Carlsbad’s showing had something to do with that.
“Torrey gave us a good run for our money,” said Tarrant. “I thought our team showed a lot of heart and fought for everything.
“They’ve got a lot of strong girls and pushed players forward but we were able to hold it together and keep a clean sheet which was also important to us.”
Hansford expects an improved version of his team when the two clubs meet again, January 30 at Carlsbad.
“They have some outstanding players, but are absolutely a team we can beat,” said Hansford. “If I thought they blew us away, I would say that might be tough, but that wasn’t the case. Both of the goals were avoidable.
“We’re going to look at the film, regroup and go to work. We’ve got a lot of games between now and when we see them again to get better.”
Avocado West play continues Thursday with Torrey Pines going to Mission Hills and Carlsbad, also on the road, at San Marcos.