LYNN — After a scoreless half between the Tech and Greater Lawrence girls soccer teams Tuesday, it seemed as though the Tigers were on their way to another tough result. Tech had plenty of chances to put the ball in the net but failed to capitalize on its opportunities.
“I told the girls that I was so worried,” Tech coach David Miller said. “There was right around 15 minutes left and I was just thinking to myself, ‘Is this another one of those games where we just can’t edge it out?'”
But Sandy Garcia Ramirez and the Tigers weren’t going to let that happen. The sophomore forward scored her first goal of the season with just 10 minutes remaining and that was all the offense Tech needed for a 1-0 win at Manning Field- the Tigers’ first victory of the season.
“It was great,” Miller said. “I had told the girls, we’ve just had a couple heart breakers this year. We started the season against a bunch of teams that have been playing together for a while. We get new girls in every year. To finally grind out a win feels great. I knew that was how the first one was going to come. It wasn’t going to be a 4-0 win or anything like that.”
Miller said Garcia Ramirez has a promising future in the program.
“Sandy’s a real talent,” Miller said. “She’s a little firecracker when she’s on. She’s strong on her left foot, even though she scored with her right. But I don’t care how it goes in.”
Offensive opportunities came and went for the Tigers throughout the game. Lisa Chomba set up a few chances in the first half but the Greater Lawrence defense held strong. Just before the break, Carolina Catano got a chance on a penalty kick but her shot missed the mark.
If there was one phase of the game that has been consistent for the Tigers it was the defense. That was no different against Greater Lawrence. Esther Nwokeji started in goal and was great before leaving the game with an injury after taking a Greater Lawrence shot to the head. From there, Marilyn Cardona and Felicity Blaney-Williams filled in to complete the shutout.
“Our defense has never really been an issue,” Miller said. “We have been very well organized and we work well with each other. We just came up against some talented teams. I knew if we came against a team equally matched to us, like Greater Lawrence, our defense can get it done. Marilyn did awesome, Felicity went in there a while too and Esther got the ball off her face but it kept the shot out of the net.”
Late in the second half Tech started to put consistent pressure on Greater Lawrence. Garcia Ramirez eventually cashed in, settling a loose ball in the box and scoring to put the Tigers ahead 1-0.
With Tech’s defense playing to its best, the Tigers held on through the final minutes for the win.
Tech (1-4) hopes to make it two in a row Thursday (4) on the road against another CAC opponent in Nashoba Valley.
“At 1-4, that’s not the record we want but we have the first win under our belt,” Miller said. “It’s a relief really and now we just need to work on scoring goals. (Nashoba) is going to be a tough game but we’re going to take this confidence into it.”