Cora Anderson makes a swift kick for Burlington during the Demons 0-0 scoreless tie against Westosha Central (Mike Ramczyk/Standard Press).

Anderson, defense leading charge for the Lady Demons

By Mike Ramczyk

Scoring wasn’t going to be easy entering this season for the Burlington varsity girls soccer team.

With scoring stars like Morgan McCourt and Jessa Burling graduated, Demon coach Joel Molitor knew he would need to find offensive production from some new faces.

On April 18, visiting Westosha Central proved to be a formidable challenge for the Lady Demons, who fought hard but ended in a 0-0 tie in Southern Lakes Conference action.

Through six matches, Molitor and the Demons are 2-2-2, reflective of a team still finding the right ways to play together and gain varsity experience.

“We are 2-2-2, which is not our best-ever record to start the reason, but is reflective of where we are as a team,” Molitor said. “I’m happy with our progress so far, but I want to see more composure in front of goal and more aggressiveness on the field in general.”

Against Westosha (3-1-1), Burlington was able to control possession and advance into Falcon territory with regularity, firing off 12 shots and two corner kicks as a team.

Cora Anderson, a Division 1 goalie recruit and still only a junior, had two saves in the shutout, her second in a row and fourth of the season.

Amelia Crabtree, a junior who is emerging as one of the team’s top strikers, led the Demons against Westosha with four shots on goal.

Gracie Geyso, Janelle Lopez and Felicity Zelechowski each added two shots.

“I’m very happy with the way we’ve been playing, other than our finishing,” Molitor said. “Our defense and midfield have been excellent, and our strikers have been moving and passing where we’ve asked them to.”

Molitor has especially been pleased with the play of Anderson in goal.

“She didn’t really have to make any saves on Thursday, but she has been very, very strong in net for us,” Molitor added. “Her experience and athleticism have saved us on multiple occasions.”

While the defense has been dominant, Burlington has struggled to score. Other than a 11-0 nonconference victory, the Demons have only scored one goal in conference play and have been held scoreless three consecutive games.

Molitor is confident his team is doing everything it can to be in the best position to score goals.

“It could be so many things: lack of experience, opponent defenses, lack of fitness,” Molitor said.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Demons, who took on a strong sectional opponent, DeForest, Tuesday at home and travel to traditional state power Oregon Saturday.

Molitor is glad his team is facing some extra strong competition.

“Both are good teams, and both are playoff sectional opponents, so we are going to need to play as well as we have all season,” Molitor said.