Lindstrom stout in net for Southwest in tie
By Greg Bates
GREEN BAY – Lucy Lindstrom picked a great time to play the best game of her career.
The junior goalie for the Green Bay Southwest girls’ soccer team was dazzling in net against rival De Pere on Thursday, May 20.
Peppered the entire game, Lindstrom almost earned a shutout.
However, De Pere scored with 5 1/2 minutes remaining to salvage a 1-1 tie in a Fox River Classic Conference matchup at Southwest High School.
“Coming into this game, I knew De Pere was better than us, so we’re happy with the way it went,” Lindstrom said.
Lindstrom’s stellar play between the pipes produced 12 saves, a number of those coming in dramatic fashion.
“Today, I had positionally my best game of the year – probably of my entire life, to be honest,” Lindstrom said.
Lindstrom wasn’t afraid to come out of her net and make diving stops near the edge of the 18-yard box.
She and her defense – which have only surrendered seven goals in eight games thus far this season – slowed down De Pere’s offensive push.
“She was active,” Green Bay Southwest coach Jay Draves said. “Many of those through balls, she was coming out and stealing before they could get the shot off. It cut out that option for them. We’ve been challenging her to be active and be aggressive, and today, she showed it.”
De Pere coach Andy Steger said he was impressed with Lindstrom’s play.
“We had some good opportunities to find the net, and some of the time it was point-blank right at Lucy,” he said. “There were a couple of times she had some big saves. We know she’s aggressive. She does a great job to eat up balls coming at her. In the last 15 (minutes), we stepped up our level of play. We put on more pressure, we played with more urgency and finally, we got the goal.”
Green Bay Southwest scored 6:10 into the game when senior midfielder Gabrielle Siudzinski beat De Pere goalie Grace Claflin.
That was the last good scoring chance for the Trojans.
“The first goal was big,” Draves said. “It allowed us to play more defensively, knowing we didn’t have to chase the game.”
De Pere missed two point-blank shots in front of the net with about 15 minutes remaining in the second half.
In the final 20 minutes of the game, Green Bay Southwest (5-2-1) was only able to clear the ball out of its zone a handful of times because De Pere (5-3-2) kept the pressure up.
The Redbirds had ample opportunities on Lindstrom, but she stood up to the challenge.
“We were frustrated,” De Pere midfielder Oakley Witteck said. “Lots of our players are injured, too, so it’s even more frustrating. We have to keep our heads up and keep everything positive. Being part of a team is positive energy, and you need more. If everyone has each other’s back, it’s easier.”
Trying to clear the ball from its zone late in the game, Witteck stole the ball from a Trojans defender, dribbled in on the short side to Lindstrom’s left and put a shot wide side into the back of the net.
That tied the game 1-1 with 5:26 remaining.
“The ball finally got played into the far side,” Steger said. “Oakley had checked back, got the ball and was able to run to the defense and break through. She put her nose to the grindstone and was able to finish one off to the far side.”
The De Pere players weren’t satisfied with a potential tie and were relentless in producing quality shots on goal until the final horn sounded.
“We came into the game thinking we didn’t have to play our hardest – we have a better record and this team, to our knowledge, wasn’t that good,” Witteck said. “When they scored on us, we couldn’t get back. We couldn’t score, and we needed that goal, so we had to work hard. Once we got it, we weren’t satisfied. We needed another one. I don’t think this game should have turned out 1-1.”
Witteck said the tie served as a wake-up call for De Pere and proved to be a good lesson.
“We need to start with urgency from the beginning – we can’t just have it at the end,” she said. “That’s not the mentality we should come out with. We need to play hard (the whole game), not just the last 15 minutes.”