PEMBROKE — Scotland’s soccer team rolled to a 6-1 victory Thursday night in its first conference game.
The Scots scored four goals in the second half over the Purnell Swett team that was playing its second Southeastern Conference game of the season. The visiting Scots were able to maintain possession for the majority of the match and limit Swett’s scoring chances, as the Rams spent most of their time playing defense.
Scotland improves to 2-4 with the win after likely playing their best soccer of the season. Scotland coach Danny Gallagher has played with several different lineups in the early part of the season to figure out the best positions for each of his player, and he said that is starting to come together.
“I think overall we’re filling them in and they’re figuring out where they need to be and how they can best support the team,” Gallagher said. “The girls, when they’re coming off the bench understand their role and where they need to play to help us.”
It only took one minute for Scotland to get on the board as Emma Gray Beacham put the first ball into the net within the first 60 seconds. Then Anna Lisa Ciarocca curled one in from distance to make it 2-0 at halftime.
“She was probably about 20 yards out and she had a great first touch, set it up on her left foot and hit it in. It soared over to the left post and into the goal,” Gallagher said.
Swett goalkeeper Rebecca Jacobs faced a barrage of shots in the first half, and saved 10 of them. However, the Scots only shot more in the second half. Deanna McLaurin scored two minutes into the half and then Jordan Lewis scored a pair of goals to make it 5-0.
Both of Lewis’ goals came on one-on-one chances with Jacobs, as the attacker was able to slip by the defenders with her speed on the first goal and dribble past them on the second. Each time Lewis shot the ball towards the left side of the goal to score it. Cierra Blackwell added Scotland’s final goal with 21 seconds to play after her shot ricocheted off the post, back onto Jacobs and into the net.
Gallagher said he was pleased to see Blackwell stay on the ball and not give up on the play on her goal.
Swett found its sole goal with 16 minutes left to play when Leanna Bird was able to knock the ball in after a scramble in front of the goal.
Swett coach Alaric Strickland said the team has not had as much time to prepare for the SEC season as it usually has because of the weather, but he was happy that his team gave a full effort.
“We were a little stunned early, but my girls gave it their best and that’s all I can ask for. More skill will come with time,” Strickland said. “The little things that we didn’t do right added up to goals as the game went on.”