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Warriors show improvement in opening-match loss

Sparring with Spartans

STERLING – Callie Sinn stretched out on the sideline Wednesday as the sun was sliding behind Roscoe Eades Stadium. 

"Why am I so tired?" Sterling's senior goalkeeper asked to anyone close enough to hear. "I didn't do anything."

Coach Brian Cebula heard her and had the answer. 

"You had to make a lot of saves," Cebula said. "That's why you're tired."

Sinn was the last line of defense against a Sycamore Spartan team that rarely let up the offensive attack. 

The Spartans won 3-0, but the Warriors walked off the field happy with the first match of the 2013 season, which has been delayed for nearly 3 weeks because of weather conditions. 

"Last year we lost 7-0 to Sycamore, so it's an improvement," Sinn said. "For it being our first game, we came out playing hard and playing together."

Sinn was under steady fire – the Spartans had 24 shots – in her first varsity match in net. She had nine saves. 

"We came into the season without anyone that had experience in goal," Cebula said. "Callie volunteered to give it a try. That's the kind of kid she is. She puts her nose in there."

"I was a little nervous at first," Sinn said. "Nobody wants to have a ball shot at their face. But, our defense played well, and Erin [Ansusinha] did a great job as sweeper. She cleared the ball whenever I couldn't get to it." 

Sycamore's attack hit high speed about 10 minutes into the match. 

Alyssa Hemmerich fired a shot with 28 minutes, 40 seconds left that Sinn stretched out to deflect. The ball bounced to Jessica Johnson, whose shot skipped out of bounds off the post. 

Sycamore rattled off five more shots in the next 5 minutes, but could not get the ball past Sinn. 

The Spartans (1-0) finally found a way around Sinn as Katherine Kohler bounced a shot past her with 21:30 left in the half. 

Sterling (0-1) nearly answered the goal on the ensuing possession after the goal. 

Freshman Rosa Sanchez posted a player in front of the goal, spun away and fired, but the shot hit the side post and went out of bounds. That was Sterling's lone shot on goal for the match. 

"From where I stood, I thought it was going in," Cebula said. "She did a nice job of posting the player and making her move to get off a good shot."

The score remained 1-0 for the rest of the half. 

In the second half, Lauren Miller scored twice off assists from Kohler to put the match out of reach. 

"I think we played well for the first time out, but we saw the consequences of not being able to work outside a lot," Cebula said. "About 20 minutes into the match, you started to see the conditioning isn't there yet. We could go for a while, but not quite ready for 80 minutes of action."

Sterling will be back on the field today, as they host Stillman Valley at 6 p.m.

Star of the match: Katherine Kohler, Sycamore, 1 goals, 2 assists

Key performers: Lauren Miller, Sycamore, 2 goals; Callie Sinn, Sterling, 9 saves

Up next: Stillman Valley at Sterling, 6 p.m. today

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