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Story Last modified at 5:42 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Defensive mentality
Stingy Wolves continue to battle

Alaska Star


Eagle River's Autumn Sperry attempts a tackle on West's Samantha LaPierre during their teams' 1-1 draw on April 30 at Eagle River.

Eagle River bent often – but broke just once – in a 1-1 draw with West on April 30 at the Wolves' Den.

West attacked Eagle River's defense-first 4-5-1 system by putting three speedy forwards up front, which coach Lauren Mason said allowed the Eagles to ask numerous questions of the Eagle River defense.

"That presented some challenges for us," she said.

More often than not, Eagle River's defenders were up to the task, limiting West to long-range, low-risk attempts.

"They did have the lion's share of the possession, but they couldn't finish shots," Mason said of the Eagles, who Eagle River had already beaten once this season.

Rebecca Boggs staked Eagle River to a 1-0 lead when she hammered a free kick off the West wall and into the net just eight minutes into the game. The goal was set up by a powerful run by Boggs' fellow team captain Jackie Klecka, who earned the free kick after being hauled down just outside the penalty area by West's Anna Sophia Roberts. Roberts earned a yellow card for her desperation tackle.

Roberts earned some revenge when she scored near the end of the first half to tie things up.

That's how it remained, thanks in part to several big saves by Reeves down the stretch.

"She was big today," Mason said.

The Wolves coach was disappointed her squad couldn't pull out a season sweep of the Eagles, but said a draw wasn't a bad result.

"A point's a point," she said.

Eagle River moved to 4-6-3 with the tie.

Eagle River 1, Lathrop 0

Christine Bottini scored the lone goal in a sloppy 1-0 win for Eagle River over Lathrop on April 28 at Eagle River.

"We didn't play very well," said Wolves coach Lauren Mason.

Mason said the win should have been easier, but the Wolves just couldn't seem to find the net.

"We had trouble finishing," she said.

Kelsey Reeves got the shutout in goal.

"She's been doing a good job for us," Mason said. "But she trains a lot, she does a lot of extra work. She's just one of those kids."

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, May 4, 2011.