Girls Varsity Soccer blows by Payton to win sixth consecutive city championship


The varsity Lane Girls Soccer team poses with their plaque and medals following their city championship victory on May 27. (Photo courtesy of Head Coach Michelle Vale)

By Maxwell Dopp, Reporter

Lane Tech Girls Varsity Soccer is known for their success, having won the past five city titles heading into this season. With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling their 2020 spring season, their city title win streak was put to halt, until last Thursday, May 27.

Lane Tech Girls Varsity Soccer walked all over Payton, winning by a score of 5-0 to secure their sixth consecutive city championship. The game was competitive throughout, as both teams played with emotion until the final whistle. However, Lane started to really pull away in the second half.

The game was played at Lane Stadium and was the second time these teams have faced off against each other this season, with Lane taking the first game by a score of 4-0.

Lane Girls Soccer had a slow start to the season, but once it really mattered and the important conference games started, they found their groove, finishing 5-0-2 in conference with their only non-wins being draws against Whitney Young (by a score of 1-1) and Jones (by a score of 2-2). This impressive success helped carry them to the city championship once again.

The game started off slow. Payton looked like they had control in the first 15 minutes, as they forced Lane’s sophomore goalie, Siena Belko, to make two saves in that time. In the 21st minute, Payton had another shot from outside the box that Belko had to push away for a corner. 

The Lane defensive line was tremendous throughout the whole game, keeping a clean sheet and limiting Payton to little time near their goal the entire game. The anchors of that back line were senior center defender Laura Butler and senior right defender Alexis Dempsey, who are both captains.

From the 21st minute on, it was all Lane. The Lane attack force led by juniors Scout Murray (#22) and Maya Martinez-Bates (#13) was too much for the Payton back line. In the 23rd minute, Martinez-Bates checked to the ball, turned over her right shoulder and played a wonderful 20-yard diagonal through-ball with her left foot through the Payton back line to Scout Murray, who dribbled past the Payton right defender and shot the ball from the 12 yards out into the upper left corner with ease to make the score 1-0. 

The game was at a stalemate with both teams trading the ball. Lane junior midfielder Dale Sink had a good shot that was saved. Then, in the 35th minute, Lane’s center attacking midfielder, sophomore Mary Rau, who was strong, winning tackles all night, took a shot from outside the box that deflected to Lane’s winger, junior Gabriella Mann, who put in a cross to Sink near the back post. Sink’s shot deflected off of Payton’s right defender into the goal, making the game 2-0 in Lane’s favor. 

In the 38th minute, Lane put in another cross. A Payton defender tried to clear the ball, and was intercepted by Lane junior Maya Warkentin, who then shot it right past the goalie into the back of the net, making the game 3-0 right before the halftime whistle, which put the nail in the coffin for Payton even with a half still to play. 

The second half was the Scout Murray show. In the 44th minute, Murray took the ball from her own half, dribbled all the way into the box and played a ball to Martinez-Bates, who was taken down in the box, resulting in a penalty. Martinez-Bates went up to take the penalty and the Payton goalie saved it, but this did not shift the momentum of the game at all.

In the 53rd minute, junior midfielder Gabriela Pop put in a cross right to Murray, who took the ball down right to her foot and dribbled past the Payton center defender, shooting the ball right by the Payton goalie to make the score 4-0. In the 63rd minute, Murray played the ball through and started toying with the Payton center defender dribbled by her and shot the ball right through the legs of the Payton goalie, making the score 5-0 Lane and giving herself a hat trick on the day. 

From then on it was game, set and match. In the 70th minute, Lane took out all of their starters and as the time expired, Lane ran out onto the field to celebrate their sixth straight city championship. 

The state playoffs started Wednesday, June 2 as Lane (seeded #5 in the Maine South 3A sectional) defeated Von Stueben (#12) by a score of 7-0 at Lane Stadium, in the regional semifinals. Lane takes on Glenbrook North (seeded #4 in the Maine South sectional) at 6:30 p.m. this evening, Friday, June 4, at Glenbrook North High School.

The 2021 girls varsity soccer city championship plaque. (Photo courtesy of Head Coach Michelle Vale)