Funkhouser sends Generals past Strasburg
QUICKSBURG — With the game still hanging in the balance, Stonewall Jackson freshman LuLu Funkhouser knew she needed to make a play.
The Generals top goal scorer this season helped break Strasburg’s momentum with just under 30 minutes left with a goal. It gave the Generals a little breathing room as they pulled out a 6-4 Conference 35 girls soccer quarterfinal victory over the Rams on Monday.
The Generals saw a 4-1 lead shrink to 4-3 with 30 minutes left, and one minute later a pass to Funkhouser was defended and bounced around. Funkhhouser, who finished with two goals and two assists, was able to get to the ball and put it in past Strasburg goalkeeper Megan Cales.
“I just knew I had to get to the ball, and If I didn’t get to the ball I wasn’t going to have it,” Funkhouser said. “I’m glad that I did, and it paid off.”
The Generals (8-7-1) took the momentum and added another goal just six minutes later. Amber Gonzalez scored on a shot from just outside the 18 to give Stonewall Jackson a 6-3 lead.
Strasburg’s Sarah Peer scored with 12 minutes left to cut the lead to 6-4, but the Rams weren’t able to get any closer.
After trailing 4-0, the Rams controlled play for most of the second half. The Rams scored in the final two minutes of the first half on a goal by Brooke Callaway.
Strasburg coach Katherine Klus switched goalkeepers bringing in Cales. Klus said she was trying to get starting goalkeeper Haley Bischoff on the field for the final two minutes but couldn’t. Bischoff did start the second half, and Klus said she gave the Rams a big lift.
“She’s excellent both in the goal and on the field,” Klus said. “She brings intensity that just helps complete the intensity of everyone else. She helped complete the puzzle offensively.”
Strasburg’s Amelia Guthrie scored just five minutes into the second half, and then Bischoff scored from about 35 yards out with about 30 minutes left in the contest.
“We definitely didn’t have diagonal runs. We weren’t spreading the field well enough,” Funkhouser said. “We just weren’t going to the ball. I guess the heat got to us. I know the heat got to me. We just were not with it.”
The Generals scored two goals in the first five minutes of the game. Ally Hepner scored off a Funkhouser corner kick just two minutes into the game. The ball bounced around before Hepner put it in past Bischoff.
Three minutes later, Jordan scored off a throw-in from Funkhouser for a quick 2-0 lead.
Funkhouser added to the lead with 16 minutes left in the first half, and Jordan scored again with 12 minutes left in the half to give Stonewall Jackson what appeared to be a comfortable lead.
“I haven’t seen them play that bad all season,” Stonewall Jackson coach Hap Kwiatkowski said. “I heard that some players went tubing today and that drains you, takes a lot out of you. As the coach, that’s my fault I forgot to tell them not to do any outdoor activity, stay indoors. …Our speed of play was horrendous. We played down to their speed of play.”
The Rams (0-16-1) only have one senior, and Klus said she saw a lot of positive things at the end of this season.
“We’re a young team, and just from three weeks ago you could see a difference,” Klu said. “…We had strong team work, where they were trusting each other with their passes versus becoming a solo game.”
The Generals, who have won four games in a row, will play at Clarke County on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Conference 35 semifinals. The winner will advance to the 2A East Region tournament next week.
“They have beautiful passes, and we just need to stop that and we need to do our passes. If it doesn’t work we’re done,” Funkhouser said. “If we beat Clarke County it will be so big for us. It will give us momentum. There’s so many more teams that we can beat if we can beat them. We just got to get past them.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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