It took us a while to get going, but once we got the momentum we started to pick it up. —Killian Lamanna
Judge Memorial High continued its strong late-season form in the opening round of the 3A state tournament on Wednesday with a comfortable 6-0 win over visiting Richfield.
“It took us a while to get going, but once we got the momentum we started to pick it up,” said Lamanna, who was instrumental in controlling play for Judge the entire game.
Despite the domination in possession, through the first 34 minutes Judge had nothing tangible to show for it on the scoreboard.
Richfield keeper Toni Brown did well early on dealing with long-range shots straight at her and came off her line to smother through balls on a couple other occasions as well.
“Give credit to them, they parked the bus a little bit and it gave us problems,” said Judge coach Scott Platz.
The breakthrough Judge needed finally came in the 35th minute on a give-and-go between Makayla Murchison and Lamanna, with Murchison burying her shot near the penalty spot for the 1-0 lead.
“We’ve been working a lot on those attacking runs. It’s kind of the style we want to play, it’s what we’re kind of building to. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there, slowly but surely,” said Platz.
Overcoming the deficit was always going to be difficult for a Richfield team that rarely crossed midfield with possession in the first half. It didn’t have much more luck either in the second half as Judge keeper Kate Bellew earned the shutout without having to make a save.
Despite controlling the early proceedings of the second half, Judge couldn’t finally breath a sigh of relief until the 65th minute when Ewing knocked in a corner kick from Bella Coronado for the 2-0 lead.
From there the floodgates opened. Lamanna pushed the lead to 3-0 in the 67th minute, and then Ewing scored again from distance in the 71st minute.
Lamanna added another in the 75th minute and Jillian Nelson wrapped up the scoring with a shot from distance in the 77th minute.
“We’ve been playing a lot of teams that have been right up on us so we’ve been working on passing in tight spaces," said Lamanna. "Once we played a team that gave us space it took us a while to adjust in the midfield.”