By Zack Farmer
The Lowell High School girls soccer team has rolled to a perfect league record and wanted another way to validate what it had accomplished.
University was that test, and the Cardinals did not disappoint.
Alejandra Sanchez and Zoe Charter-Kuo scored two goals apiece as Lowell rolled to the 4-0 non-league win over visiting University on Monday.
“You could just see it in the girls’ eyes,” said Lowell head coach Marcos Estebez. “They wanted to just sit here and enjoy the moment. You don’t really know who you are or what you are until you play the more competitive teams and that’s what they’re feeling so good about.”
The Cardinals (17-2-1) have not allowed a goal since another non-league matchup on March 16 against Lick-Wilmerding, a stretch of 15 straight games.
“It is a testament to them and they played really well today,” Estebez said of the Cardinals’ defense. “It was amazing how well they were rotating, they were covering for each other.”
Lowell pressured University (10-4-3) early and had three good looks at the goal but could not capitalize.
The drought didn’t last long.
Charter-Kuo got Lowell on the board in the ninth minute when she beat two defenders and scored from 25 yards out.
The Cardinals’ defense suffocated the University squad and did not allow a shot on goal until the 29th minute.
“The first thing is we got outplayed and you can’t show up and try to win a soccer game if you don’t compete in all facets of the game,” said University head coach Deejay Johnson. “They out-hustled us. They out-pressured us. Their finishing was better. Their defending was better.”
Sanchez added to the Lowell lead with a shot from 15 yards out, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
University created chances early in the second half and was able to get better looks at the goal, but was still unable to get on the board.
Lowell was able to loosen up the Red Devils in the latter part of the second half and it was Charter-Kuo again that struck in the 70th minute.
The junior dribbled by two defenders and drilled the ball past University goalie Karyll Davis from point-blank range to give Lowell the commanding 3-0 lead.
Sanchez capped off the scoring in the 73rd minute with a looping shot just over the outstretched arms of Davis for her second goal of the day.
“It’s important to play quality teams and they show you where your weaknesses are and what you need to work on,” Estebez said. “It was a good opportunity to play a good team, to refine what we’ve been working on in terms of our attack and in terms of our play and quickly releasing the ball.”