DERIDDER – The Lady Dragons used their athleticism to fill up the net as they continue their good start to the season.
DeRidder scored three goals in the first half to defeat Leesville 4-1 Monday night at DeRidder High School.
The Lady Cats struggled to get its offense rolling but continues to show signs up improvement throughout the season.
"Our communication is getting better, and we're willing to work together more," Leesville head coach Kirsten Raines said. "We have some chemistry going and are understanding how each other play. We've really grown a lot since the season started. It's nice to see improvement day in and day out.
"I think my players are very resilient, so they always play to be better. When they play with better athletes, they always play up. They learn from them throughout the game."
DeRidder forward Allie Kyle scored the first goal at the 22-minute mark, and she followed up with her second goal off an assist from Elena Vida in the 31st minute to put the Dragons up 2-0.
"We're trying to learn and work on possession play," Stephen Martinez said. "That's going to make us more competitive against the best teams in the state. I think we have a combination of both, right now, as far as athleticism, but we still have a long ways to go on possession. We had some flashes tonight."
Lexlee Wisby punched a goal in the 34th minute to put DeRidder up 3-0 heading into the half.
Early in the second half, Kyle completed the hat trick, scoring in the 44th minute to make it 4-0.
Leesville got on the board in the 58th minute on a shot from 15 yards out by Zoe Robbins.
The Lady Cats kept the Lady Dragons off the board of a majority of the half after making adjustments at halftime.
"We changed up who we had on the field, how we were moving and I talked to our goalie about cutting down angles and coming out a little bit more," Raines said. "We talked about the midfielders placing themselves better. Just in general, making runs. I put the fire under some of them, and it worked."
DeRidder had 11 shots on goal, and 16 total shots as it advances its record to 5-2-1.
"Overall, I think we're improving," Martinez said. "I have a very young team with one senior and one junior on the team that starts. The rest are sophomores. We still have a long ways to go. Leesville is always a tough team because we're rivals. They always pick it up.
"It's very exciting to watch them develop and grow. I have some freshmen that are now sophomores, like Allie Kyle, who has improved quite a bit. Roze Dorrelles has improved, as well. They have all improved, and the freshmen have stepped up."