SMYRNA – Amanda Queen didn’t get many opportunities to shoot this season.
So when one opened for the Lake Forest senior in Saturday’s first round Division II girls’ soccer state tournament game played at Smyrna High, she took it.
Lake’s win, its first ever in girls’ soccer state tournament history, advanced the Spartans to a rematch versus Henlopen South champion Indian River.
The No. 3 Indians defeated Lake 6-1 during the regular season.Right of goal from 20 yards out, Queen chipped a ball over Conrad keeper Sarah Greenzweig into the left side of the net helping the No. 6 Spartans (13-3) to a 2-0 win over the No. 11 Redskins (7-7-2).
“I don’t usually get a lot of opportunities to shoot, so I kind of took it just being wild and it went in,” Queen said of her goal, which came in the 60th minute. “It’s my senior year and I wanted to make it farther than we did last year. It’s amazing.”
Conrad had Lake on its heels in the first 10 minutes of the game, but the Spartans defense managed to keep the Redskins from getting many shots on goal. When they did, keeper Alyssa Banks seemed to always be in the right position to make a save.
After settling in and calming its nerves, Lake went on the offensive from there and controlled the ball for most of the remaining 30 minutes in the opening half.
In the 11th minute, junior Jocelyn Hughes scored what ultimately proved to be the game-winning goal when she got an assist from sophomore Hannah Fox in traffic, made a Conrad defender miss and then found the net.
“I was kind of ball watching,” Hughes said. “Hannah, it bounced off of her and I ran my little heart out to the ball.
And I kind of just ran through and… goal.”
Now Lake Forest must turn its attention to Indian River, a team that jumped on the Spartans early when they met less than two weeks ago and didn’t relent.
Hughes said she knows the challenge will be difficult to overcome but that the Spartans will be ready.
“We definitely need to man-up on Brooke (Beam), that’s their top player, get to the ball first, relax and be ready to play,” she said.
Banks agreed and added, “If we shut them down in the beginning, they’ll stay in that mood. That’s how we were. If we can achieve that next playoff game, we’ve got it.”