Among weather delays and a tightly contested, defensive game, the Lamar girls soccer team didn’t capitalize on their opportunities until deep into the contest against Starkville Academy at home Thursday evening. 

A foul in the goalie box off a corner kick set up a penalty kick for junior Emma Kate Uithoven, which she buried into the right side of the net with 24 minutes left to break a scoreless game. 

Then junior Morgan Mitchell, dribbling the ball up the left side of the field, threaded a cross to junior Wyatt Davidson, who chipped in a goal to seal a 2-0 victory for the Lady Raiders.

“I was really nervous because I felt that if I did score it would just give my team motivation to keep scoring,” Utihoven said. “After that, everyone got a lot of energy and wanted to keep going.”

Lamar (2-2) had its chances in a rainy first half. Sophomore Ali Rowland had three shots on goal, including a breakaway opportunity where her attempt hit the top right of the net and bounced away. Starkville Academy (0-2) sailed a free kick over the net before the game was suspended due to lightning. 

Approximately 40 minutes, later the first half was finished before another delay was called because of thunder, which lasted about an hour. The second half was played under clear skies. 

“I didn’t think they were going to come out as strong because of the delay,” Lamar head coach Nina Galindo said. “But they proved me wrong. They went out there like, ‘Let’s just get this W and leave happy.’”

The Lady Raiders scored their first goal since the season opener, suffering a 1-0 defeat to East Rankin Academy Aug. 1 and a 4-0 loss to Hartfield Academy Tuesday. 

“It was like 100 pounds off my chest,” Galindo said. “As a coach, when you see things aren’t working out, you start second guessing yourself and your judgement and what you’re doing. But we did all the right things (Thursday).”

Lamar kept possession for the majority of the contest, with its defense not allowing a single shot on goal.

“I’m very proud of my defense, all of them,” Galindo said. “From my subs, and to my young ones to my older ones, very strong.”

The Lady Raiders travel to Madison-Ridgeland Academy next Tuesday. 

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