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ORLEANSâMuch like the electricity in Barton and Orleans, the power went out for the Lake Region girls as they fell to BFA Fairfax 2-1.
"When you are playing against a team like Fairfax you have to have effort. You have to want the ball as badly as they do," said Lake Region coach Brad Urie. "If your intensity level does not match BFAâs, you are going to get beat every single time."
BFA has been the bench mark upon which the Lady Rangers have measured themselves against, but they lost both outings by identical 2-1 scores.
Doing the damage for the Bullets this time was senior Anissa Hartmann, who had two tallies on the afternoon.
"Every once in a while you are fortunate enough to have one of those kids who is a natural goal scorer," said BFA Coach Geri-Lyn Witalec. "She's technically solid and every goal she scores, she earns the heck out of it."
As play got underway, the blue and white had the early momentum.
Amber Bernier had a crack at the Bullet net four minutes into the match, but sent the ball wide.
For the next ten minutes, Lake Region's Achilles heel, the slow start, came a callin'.
Fairfax took over the action, swarming around the Lady Rangerâs keeper Jordyn Cowles.
Hartmann got off her first good shot of the game seven minutes into the half, but couldn't convert.
With 27:00 left to go, Bernier came back down the field, going in on a partial break-away, but the ball got a little ahead of her and goalie Emily Miner had no trouble scooping up the loose ball.
Besides a late opportunity by Tyrah Urie, that was it for LRU's offense in the half.
Going the other way, Hartmann took a ball on the right side of the net, walked in, and sent a beauty of a shot into the upper left hand corner of the cage, staking the road team to a 1-0 lead with 2:01 left in the first.
When play resumed in the second, Urie just missed on a direct kick, but that would be it from the Lady Rangers for a long while.
Morgan Young nearly made it 2-0, but a fantastic diving stop by Cowles kept the lanky striker off the score sheet.
Cowles was tested again two minutes later when Hartmann's shot came loose, but she recovered, securing the ball before any further damage could occur.
Hartmann, with all of the game's momentum behind her, fired in goal number two, a low shot just inside the left post.
Said Urie on how too hope to stop Fairfax's dangerous number 18, "You have to play her just to contain and when you allow her to get the ball, which you shouldn't ever do, you have got to square up on her and keep her outside."
Shortly after the second goal, Sarah Burnham had a nasty collision, which took her out of the game with a head injury.
"I wanted to win that ball so bad and I didn't want to come out, but I had to think of the team," said Burnham.
The senior back has been a rock for Lake Region this year, so to see her on the bench was a rare sight for the Ranger faithful.
"Sarah has been one of the people who have been consistent for us all year," Urie said, addressing the steadiness of Burnhamâs contributions.
After making some on-field adjustments, the Rangers started to get a few more chances.
Urie finally cut the lead down to one when at last, she was able to shake the stingy Bullet defense that kept her in check all game long.
She got some separation, broke loose, and sent a low shot past Miner to make it 2-1 with :39 seconds left to play.
BFA put the clamp down for the game's closing seconds, holding on to get the win.
"We are going to need to trust each other, not yell at each other, and have better communication if we want to go all the way this year," Burnham said about what the team needs to improve on moving forward.
Cowles had four saves for Lake Region (10-3) while Miner stopped five for BFA (13-1).
The Lady Rangers will close out the regular season against Hazen on Saturday morning at 11:00.