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Mead tops Highlanders in GSL girls soccer

Kevin Houston and the Mead girls soccer team are “starting to put the pieces together,” and it showed Wednesday afternoon.

The Panthers scored early in both halves to notch a 4-0 Greater Spokane League girls soccer win at Shadle Park and improve their chances of reaching the District 8 4A playoffs.

Three minutes into the match, junior forward Anna Kessler made a nice run down the left sideline off a pass from Kara Marbury and scored. Three minutes into the second half, Marbury added a backheel goal, and 3 minutes after that Marbury found Kessler again to give Mead (6-2 overall and 3-2 in the GSL) a commanding 3-0 lead.

Along with midfielder Martha Heaps, Marbury and Kessler made the difference against the stubborn Highlanders (3-7, 1-5).

“They’re very athletic, and in this league, with the speed and size and the technical abilities that they have, we can do multiple things with them,” Houston said.

It’s been several years since Houston coached girls soccer. “The soccer part of it isn’t that different, the concepts and tactics,” said Houston, whose Panther boys team won the GSL regular-season title last spring.

“But how girls deal with adversity and team-bonding issues is a lot different from boys.”

Apart from some sharp counterattacks late in the first half, Mead didn’t face much adversity after the two goals early in the second half.

Elsewhere in the GSL: Central Valley (8-1, 5-0) put four out of five shootout goals into the net to outlast Lewis and Clark 1-0 at Albi Stadium. Paige Gallaway, Alaina Bates, Natalie Middleton and Laci Rennaker scored for the Bears, while LC (3-4, 2-3) scored just twice. “We had opportunities that we didn’t put away,” LC coach Katie Carpenter said. … Forward Kelsey Walker had two assists and a goal to lead University (6-3, 3-2) to a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over North Central (2-6, 1-4) at Pacific Park. The Titans trailed 1-0 with less than 20 minutes to play, but Walker assisted on two goals by Rylee Rassier. … Carly Frank, Sierra Bezdicek and Whitney Weaver each scored goals to lead Mt. Spokane (11-0, 5-0) to a 3-0 win over Rogers (1-6, 0-6).

The Wildcats scored twice in the first 12 minutes.

Idaho boys: Top-ranked Post Falls (13-1-1) overwhelmed Lewiston 8-0 behind four goals from Timmy Mueller as the Trojans advanced to within one game of the state boys tournament. Mueller, a junior, has 25 goals this season. Post Falls will face Coeur d’Alene (9-4-3) which got goals from Matt Hulquist and Dillon Dunteman to defeat Lake City 2-0. Lake City (6-5-4) was eliminated.