Orange Lutheran denied again by Buena at Excalibur


MISSION VIEJO- For the second straight season, the inability of the Orange Lutheran Lancers to capitalize on scoring chances helped the Buena Bulldogs advance in their quest to raise the Excalibur sword.

Bulldogs junior goalie Summer Helmuth had seven saves in regulation and a big save in penalty kicks, as the Bulldogs advanced past No. 9 Orange Lutheran, 5-3 in penalty kicks, after the teams played to a 0-0 tie in the first round of the Excalibur Tournament Thursday at Capistrano Valley High.

Orange Lutheran (10-1-3) lost to Buena 1-0 in the second round of last season’s tournament. The Lancers are 8-0-2 in their last 10 matches overall.

“We did so many things right, but had way too many chances and couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Lancers coach Del Montel said.

The Lancers controlled possession in the middle and attacking third throughout the first half, as sophomore midfielder Kayra Dollas, senior forward Mikaela Truckey, and sophomore Andrea Koukladas led an offense that created several scoring chances.

Koukladas put hard shot on frame in the 18th minute that was stopped by Helmuth. A few seconds later, Koukladas sprinted hard toward a ball served into the box by Dollas, but Helmuth beat Koukladas to the ball to prevent the shot attempt.

Helmuth had another key save in the 24th minute off a shot by Lancers junior KC Sullivan.

Orange Lutheran’s best scoring chance of the half came in the 25th minute. While on a deep run into the attacking third, Truckey was fouled in the box. On the ensuing penalty kick, Dollas missed to the left of the Helmuth and to the left of the post.

The Lancers opened the second half on the attack and put together more sustained offensive attack. In the 43rd minute, a header from Truckey (off a cross by freshman Logan Karam) sailed just wide of the goal.

Four minutes later, Truckey managed to get to a corner kick off the foot of junior Meg Rogers, but her header was wide of the near post.

Though the Bulldogs managed to make a few quality runs into the middle and attacking third, Lancers defenders Jenny Gebhardt, Sydney Ferrell, and Natalie Miller prevent sustained possessions.

Orange Lutheran, which outshot Buena 12-2 in the match, had another quality chance in the 64th minute, but Karam was unable to square herself up for a shot directly in front of the goal. The ball eventually was booted toward the goal by Sullivan, but sailed over the crossbar and the far post.

With Buena leading 1-0 in penalty kicks, Helmuth made a fully extended diving stop to her left to stop Dollas. The Bulldogs were up 4-3 when senior Kylie Kenser blasted a shot to the right of Lancers senior goalie Sarah Klinkenberg and into the back of the net for the match-decider.

Montel acknowledged disappointment with not coming away with a victory to start the tournament after controlling such a large portion of the match.
“We have played well as of late, but this should have been a win for us,” he said.

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