The Chaparrals solidified themselves as championship contenders in a 7-1 thrashing of Lake Travis Tuesday night.
Westlake needed just 37 seconds to net its first goal of the game against the second-place team in District 15-5A, with Kendall Ritchie booting in a goal from 25 yards out that bent beautifully over the keeper’s head.
Though the No. 2 Chaps scoreless streak came to an end after 12 matches, they more than made up for it by pouring on the points to demoralize any hopes the Lady Cavaliers had.
Christy Goldberg had two goals and two assists, Rachel Coyle netted two goals and an assist, while Hannah Meyer and Ritchie also assisted on goals in the Westlake (22-0, 11-0).
“I thought it was awesome,” Goldberg said. “I’m really excited building into playoffs that we we’re able to step on the field and show them right away.”
With the seven-goal win, Westlake is setting its sights on one goal.
“State,” Goldberg said.
Thurston scored on a pass from Coyle with 24:30 left in the first half and Coyle scored minutes later on a nice through pass from Goldberg to go ahead 3-0.
Goldberg was on the other end of a pass from Meyer and promptly booted it into the back of the net with 17:01 to play and the Chaps were sharp after a week off from games, and kept their undefeated streak going at 22 games.
“I was a little worried coming off the break but they looked like they were really excited to play and you could see that,” Westlake girls soccer coach Rennie Rebe said. “We came out with a lot of energy and I think once we scored the first goal, first minute, that puts Lake Travis back on their heels and we’re pressing. I think that kind of set the tone for us in the first half.”
Lake Travis notched just the third goal against Westlake all season, and first in district play, when freshman Katie Werdenberg caught the Chaps out of place and booted in a goal that tucked just into the far left post to make it 4-1 with 11:34 to play in the first half.
“The way they scored the goal was they played off the restart and we got caught flat footed,” Rebe said. “That’s gonna happen, so it’s nice to learn that lesson when it’s not gonna determine the outcome of the game. I told them we should have stepped in front of the ball, but I was proud of them that we got a restart goal back in the second half.”
Goldberg agreed that the goal put Westlake’s mentality in the right context.
“I think them scoring a goal on us put us back on our heels a little bit,” Goldberg said. “And we had to realize, if that happens in the playoffs you have to come back quick, it’s terrible to be scored on but we did OK. It makes you mad, but I think having a couple goals helps, but we knew right away we had to score.”
Out of halftime the Chaparrals wanted to keep plugging away and assure they were as sharp as possible with the playoff starting next week.
“Just trying to maintain and put ourselves in playoff mode – recognizing that it really doesn’t matter what the score is,” Rebe said. “As you move through the playoffs teams know you lose, you go home, so no score is safe. No game is over until the very end. So we’re trying to find the mindset you’re just playing 0-0, regardless of the score, because we’re gonna have to do that in playoffs for sure.
“It’s super intense and it gets more aggressive and more physical. You’re gonna have to play 80 minutes because anything can happen.
Goldberg sent a nifty cross from the right side into the middle of the field near the Lake Travis’ goal and Thurston pounded it in to go up 5-1 at the 35:27 mark.
Minutes later, Coyle booted in a lefty goal from the left side of the field to go ahead 6-1, and Goldberg finished the scoring on a cross from Ritchie for the final tally of 7-1 with 25:11 still to play.
Rebe was impressed with her team’s ability to be creative on the pitch without direct instruction.
“When you play good teams they have good goal keepers, so playing predictable isn’t going to get it done,” she said. “For the kids to also think on the field is really important, because, a lot of times you don’t want it to come from the coach. You want the players to start to recognize those situations they can take advantage of.”
The Chaps kept up the defensive pressure from there, even as both sides substituted liberally in the latter stages of the game.
Westlake has its last regular season game against Austin High 7:45 p.m. Friday at home, and though the district title is already sewn up the Chaps are more than eager to take on the Lady Maroons.
The Chaps beat Austin High 3-0 Feb. 19 at House Park in a very physical match.
“It’s a personal game for everyone and it’s senior night, and it’s at home,” Goldberg said. “It’s going to be a very exciting game even with our lead. It’s a game we have to win for pride, and it’s a whole personal thing.”
The bidistrict playoffs will be played between March 28-30, with Westlake set to take on the District 16-5A fourth place squad.