Oak Ridge girls soccer cruised through its CIF Division I playoff opener Tuesday, dropping visiting Kennedy 5-0.
After an early goal by Anna Lippuner, the Lady Trojans eased off the accelerator through the first half, with both squads equally sharing possession. Troy keeper Nina Grimes picked up two saves in the first half to thwart all the offensive threat the Cougars mustered.
In the second half, Oak Ridge chose to forego cruise control for a strike force. Lauren Whited and Megan Graham each picked up goals while Julia Crawford had a pair herself. The attacking crew were fed graciously by Brenna Palmer and Marissa Ribiero, who had three and two assists, respectively.
“They’ve done great,” head coach Joe Champion said. “The season’s been really good so far. Our goal at the start was to make playoffs and we’ve done that … we knew we were the higher seed in this game and knew that as long as we concentrated we’d be okay in this game as long as we played as we could.”
In total, Oak Ridge fired 22 shots on Kennedy, the vast majority coming from outside the box. Crawford and Whited’s goals were clinics on mid-range accuracy while the communication between Ribiero, Palmer, Cassidy Barbosa and the rest of the offense allowed senior Carisa Rivers and Lippuner to fire at will.
“If the girls play as they can, they can play with anyone,” Champion said. “If they bring that consistency and that fire, which they’ve been doing very well all season.”