BY ED WRIGHT
May 18, 2010, 9:40 p.m.
Their bench only goes two players deep and their only senior suffered a season-ending injury in the season-opener, but adversity hasn't stood a chance against the Plymouth Christian Academy girls soccer team this spring.
The young and inexperienced Eagles spread their wings again Tuesday, putting together a total-team effort to upend visiting Oakland Christian, 4-2.
PCA, which lost to Oakland 1-0 in an early-season encounter, improved to 6-3-1 in head coach Miki Djerisilo's first year at the helm.
"We lost our whole defense from last year, so that was the first thing I worked on when I got the job March 15," said Djerisilo. "We put in a flat-three defense, which is a hard defense to play, but the girls have done a great job.
"Today I was very impressed with Jenna Abraham, who scored two goals, Lauren Paulson, our center-back on defense, and our keeper, Brianna Harris."
The game got off to an ominous start for the Eagles, who trailed 1-0 3:35 in when Oakland's Alex Lucido chipped a short shot into the back of the net over Harris's head.
Undaunted, the Eagles evened things up at 1-1 four minutes later when freshman forward Jenna Abraham ripped a shot from 12 yards out that slipped through the hands of the Oakland Christian keeper and rolled into the corner of the goal.
The hosts seized the lead for good 10 minutes later when freshman forward Kendall Groenewald snaked through the Oakland defense, juked Oakland's goalie, and deposited a soft shot into the empty net to put her team ahead, 2-1.
Abraham struck again 9:15 before the half when she lasered a strike from 10 yards out that was again too hot for the Lancers' keeper to handle.
Oakland nearly sliced its 3-1 deficit in half in the game's 39th minute, but Darcy Johnston's point-blank effort rolled a few feet wide left.
PCA's final goal of the day was spectacular. Sophomore forward Rachel Zandee controlled the ball 10 yards out and fended off a Lancer defender's efforts before somehow lifting the ball into the net with her left foot.
Oakland scratched back to within 4-2 on Josie Murgor's goal with 24:07 left, but the Lancers couldn't penetrate the Eagles' flat-three defense thereafter.
Harris made nine saves, five of which came on high-quality chances created by the Lancers.
Her best save may have come at the 27:00 minute mark of the second half when she deflected a sizzling shot off the foot of Johnston.
Junior captain Annette Somercik did an outstanding job controlling the middle for the Eagles. Defenders Haley Wright and Abigail Aitken were also stellar in the victory.