Slow start dooms Lady Dragons in loss at No. 3 Marian

MISHAWAKA — Class A No. 3-ranked Mishawaka Marian jumped on visiting Argos early. By the time the Lady Dragons adjusted it was too late, and they lost 5-1 in girls soccer action on the road Monday night.
Sophomore Denise Veldman scored an opening goal seven minutes in and assisted two others in the first 20 minutes. Older sister Gabby, a senior, notched a pair of goals, along with one each from Shannon Hendricks and Emma Capannari as the hosts jumped to a 5-0 halftime lead.
“Speed is not our strength, to say the least, and Marian has better team speed than anyone we play,” Argos coach Jon Alcorn said. “But much of that speed is mental. They were very organized with that extra quick pass, and it took us a whole half to adjust to it. The times we were patient to possess the ball and move laterally, we created good chances — likely should’ve scored twice.”
Raelynn LaFrance and Jami Patterson both broke through on good combinations, and a corner kick from Sammie Hopkins resulted in a header from Patterson. All three chances ended with saves from Knight keeper Devon Smith.
The second half went better for the visitors as the Dragons worked to possess the ball at midfield. Argos’ first corner kick of the second frame, again from Hopkins, was headed by Patterson and knocked in by LaFrance.
“At halftime, I pointed out the mental breakdowns,” said Alcorn. “We ended the half with a corner kick, and we failed as a team to assign routes and no one was ready when the keeper dropped it. So to start the second half with a great attacking corner kick for a goal was huge. The kids worked harder mentally to apply pressure at the midfield, the backs handled their speed better, and we produced several good attacks from patient lateral passing at midfield. In many ways this game was similar to last year’s first game (with Marian), they just missed more shots then. We improved greatly and gave them a much better challenge at the semistate. That kind of improvement is still our goal.”
The Knights improved to 7-4-1 while Argos fell to 7-4-2.
At Mishawaka
M — Denise Veldman (Shannon Hendricks), 7th minute
M — Gabby Veldman (Brittany Payne), 17th minute
M — Emma Capannari (D. Veldman), 20th minute
M — Hendricks (D. Veldman), 22nd minute
M — G. Veldman (Josie Cressy), 38th minute
A — Raelynn LaFrance (Sammie Hopkins, Jami Patterson), 47th minute
Shots on Goal: Marian 17, Argos 7
Saves: Marian 6 (Devon Smith), Argos 12 (Karlee VanDerWeele)
Corners: Marian 7, Argos 4
Records: Marian 7-4-1, Argos 7-4-2