Hall, Faith Christian girls win league title
With the score tied 1-1 at halftime, Faith Christian High's leading scorer Sarah Hall spoke up and issued her teammates a warning before the Lions took the pitch for the second half.
"We've got to pick it up ladies," she said. "If we get a few goals on them, they'll go down."
Thankfully for Hall, the Lions followed suit, and after scoring a pair of goals early after the intermission they cruised home with a 3-1 victory over Sacramento Country Day at home on Wednesday.
It was a big win for the Lions, who not only clinched their first Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League title in five years, but also a first-round bye when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII playoffs kick off on May 12.
"At the beginning of the season we weren't clicking that well, but we've started to get it going lately," said Hall, who had a goal and two assists in the match. "We all knew we wanted to win league and we went out and did it."
The Lions (10-6-1, 7-1) took a 1-0 lead when junior forward Lacy Bicknell knocked in a corner kick from Hall in the game's 10th minute. However, Country Day didn't lay down and equalized the game on a goal by Madeleine Wright just minutes before the whistle ended the half.
That's when Hall and the Lions went to work.
After missing an open net a minute into the second half, Hall made a perfect lead pass to a streaking Annie Reimers down the right sideline. Reimers did the rest by drilling the ball over the head of the Cavaliers' keeper in the 44th minute to give the Lions back the lead.
Hall then put the finishing touches on the win by corralling a loose ball in the box and sending it in for her 37th goal of the season in the 51st minute. It was another dazzling display by the high-scoring senior, who was double- and triple-teamed all day long and yet still made an huge impact.
"A lot of it is mental, so I can't let it get into my head," Hall said. "It's kind of frustrating when you have someone following you around all the time, but when they have two on me that means somebody else is going to be open."
The second half was all Faith Christian, which outshot the visitors 13-1 to win going away.
"That first goal of the half got us going," Faith coach Robert Ripley said. "There's no question about it, we're playing our best right now. I'm very proud of the girls."
Alex Arnold, Morgan Trimble, Lauren Heinrich, Liz Andrus and Corrisa Olmstead all played well defensively for the Lions, who will host a second-round match at home on May 17.