Second-seeded Lakeshore, led by Kylie Milligan, relentlessly attacked No. 10 Live Oak’s defense in a 4-1 win in the quarterfinal round of the Division II girls soccer playoffs Monday night.
Lakeshore went after Live Oak from the opening whistle, but none of its first three shots in the game’s first eight minutes were on goal. On the other hand, Live Oak capitalized on its first clean opportunity. The Lady Eagles’ Alicia Carlos brought the ball down in the box and delivered a beautiful half volley with her left foot into the side of the net to take a 1-0 lead 12 minutes in.
“It was great. It actually put me on my back a little bit,” said Live Oak coach Kraig Zeller. “I wasn’t expecting us to actually be up to be honest with you. I knew how good this team was, and I thought it gave us a huge amount of life. From that point on we started pushing forward a little bit.”
Live Oak was able to keep the lead for 24 minutes before Lakeshore’s attack finally broke through. Presley Molitor sent in a free kick from about 40 yards, and Kylie Milligan brushed past the defense and flicked the ball into the back of the net to tie the contest.
Two minutes later, Milligan drove a ball in from the right flank, and Kylie Stringer, who had stopped numerous attacks by Lakeshore, failed to handle the ball and watched as MC Nicholson scored on the rebound to give the Lady Titans a 2-1 lead going into halftime.
In the second half Lakeshore continued to impose its will on Live Oak. Helped by much deeper roster, Lakeshore continuously sent waves of attackers, outshooting Live Oak 15-1 in the second half and 27-5 overall.
At 52-minute mark, Milligan scored a fantastic goal at the right edge of the box. Instead of sending the ball low like she had on her previous attempt, Milligan aimed high towards the back post over Stringer’s head. The ball was perfectly placed in the upper-90, bouncing off the post into the back of the net for Lakeshore’s third goal.
Milligan finished her night with a hat-trick, scoring her third goal in the 59th minute. Live Oak didn’t clear the cross, and Milligan got a hold of the loose ball to finish off the game.
“Obviously we wanted to have a fast start and get into the game, but hats off to Live Oak,” said Lakeshore coach Wes Leake. “They gave us all we could handle and put us on our heels. Props to (Zeller) and his girls, they played really well.”
On Milligan’s night: “She’s their leading goal scorer, so we follow a lot of what she does. And she does present a good attack for us, obviously with her goals tonight, but that’s been her main thing this year — she wanted to take on this role and I think she’s done a good job with it.”
Lakeshore will now face No. 3 Neville in the semifinals on Friday.