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Banks soccer romps past Astoria

Lauren Hill and Harry Purinton score two goals apiece in a 4-0 league victory


Photo Credit: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Banks junior Cassie Streblow dribbles the ball upfield during Thursday's Cowapa League match while Astoria's Rachel Simmons gives chase.It wasn’t always pretty, but it was effective nonetheless.

The Banks girls soccer team was at its best early in last Thursday’s match against Astoria, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes and adding another later in the half.

After the first 20 minutes or so, the quality of play suffered a bit, but the Braves had a plenty big enough lead to manage a 4-0 victory at Sunset Park.

The result evened the team’s record at 2-2 in Cowapa League play and upped it to 4-3-1 overall.

The outcome left coach Brian Reed a little ambivalent about defeating the Fisherman — rivals the Braves have tied in recent seasons but not topped until last week.

“I’m happy that we’re ahead of Astoria,” Reed said. “I’m not happy with the way we played against this Astoria.”

Indeed, last year’s Astoria squad finished third in the league, a spot ahead of Banks, while this year’s version was winless through last week and had managed to score just one goal.

While the Fishermen were relatively punchless on offense, the Braves got plenty of production from Harry Purinton and Lauren Hill, who scored two goals apiece to power the offense.

“I just say it’s a team effort,” Purinton said about scoring her brace. “I always say it’s a team effort.”

Purinton, a senior, scored the first goal, which wound up the eventual game-winner, in the fifth minute on a ball played in from the wing. She tapped it in from close range to put the home team up.

Hill put in her first goal a few minutes later off of a Cassie Streblow corner kick. After the kick, the ball bounced around a bit until Hill finished it off. She scored again about 25 minutes into the period, resulting in a commanding 3-0 advantage at halftime for Banks.

In the second stanza, neither team played particularly cohesively, though Banks captain Emily Vandehey did send a shot off the woodwork early on.

Astoria tried to climb back into the match with a penalty kick opportunity in the 57th minute. Kaisa Johnson stepped up to take the shot, but Banks goalkeeper Lucy Plews went to her left to stop the shot and keep the shutout going.

“I was pretty psyched,” said Plews, a sophomore in her first varsity season. “It’s actually, I think, (the) first PK I’ve ever stopped, so it’s a nice change.”

Purinton matched Hill with two goals and completed the scoring with about five minutes to play, when she ran onto a through ball on the right side of the penalty area and took a touch or two before slotting a low shot to the far post.

“It was a very good ball, and Harry was very patient with it,” Reed said. “She could have just popped one from 15 or 16 (yards), but she decided to carry it a couple more times because she had the time and space.”

The combined four goals from Purinton and Hill matched Banks’ highest scoring output of the season, while Plews picked up her second shutout in goal.

Banks played just one game this week, at Seaside on Tuesday after press deadline. The Braves were looking for a result in that one, which would have given them firm command of third place in the Cowapa heading into the second round of league play.

“I’m still optimistic about the standings and the results,” Reed noted. “I think third place is ours if we decide to take it.”

Note: Banks is without the services of one of its top players in Kayla Schnaubelt. The junior midfielder dislocated her knee during a collision in practice several weeks ago, and her return status is unknown.

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