Behind a fast start and two goals from forward Caitlyn Kreutz, Buchanan High beat Liberty High 3-0 in a non-league girls soccer match Friday at Liberty.
"To come play against a team like this, that's a playoff-caliber team in a playoff atmosphere like tonight, we knew we were going to get a physical game and I thought our girls came and performed well," Buchanan coach Orlando Ramirez said. "To score three goals against a good defensive team like this, I thought it was excellent."
Buchanan (9-2-1), which has won the section title in Division I seven of the past eight years, took a lead 10 minutes into the match when midfielder Sassy Weigant scored from outside the penalty box, a shot just out of the reach of Patriots goalkeeper Bailey Cockrill.
"That was huge," Ramirez said. "We've been on the receiving end early on this year of getting goals scored on us early, so that was something we talked about before the game that we needed to get out and set the tone early on."
After Weigant's goal, Liberty (5-5-5) started to settle in and get into a rhythm. The Patriots were able to get more shots on goal and control possession of the ball, but then Buchanan took the momentum back.
With the Bears up 1-0, Kreutz got a pass from midfielder Elisa Soderholm and was able to get away from the Patriots' defense and put the shot just past goalkeeper Bailey Cockrill with just 2 minutes left in the half.
Kreutz scored her second goal on a penalty kick to ice the game midway through the second half.
"I was really excited," Kruetz said of her performance. "I love soccer and I love my team, so anything to help is honestly a great feeling with my favorite group of girls. I think that we really came out and gave it our all from the beginning, and gave the effort we wanted from the start so we did really well."
Patriots coach Brandon Hearron said Buchanan's first goal helped to se the tone for the Bears.
"Overall, I thought we did OK," he said. "That's probably the best team we've seen in the valley this year. We gave up a goal (early) and got down on ourselves a little bit, but the girls battled back and I thought we created a lot more chances than we have for most of the season. We just didn't plug them away, but that's a very good sign and hopefully we can see [Buchanan] in the playoffs."