When Dimond juniors Aaliyah and Ariela Lewis find open space on a soccer pitch, it usually results in good things for the Lynx.
"They're gonna find each other," Dimond coach Terry Curran said. "They're connected in a lot of ways."
The Lewis twins each scored twice in Thursday's 6-0 Cook Inlet Conference win over South, with each assisting the other on the match's final two goals.
In five of seven Dimond games this season, the two have notched at least one goal apiece, and Curran said both players have been nominated for the Gatorade player of the year award.
Ariela missed last season with a knee injury, so getting to play with her sister this season means a lot. There was also a little revenge factor to sweeten Thursday's win, because South (5-2-0) beat Dimond (6-0-1) in last season's state title match.
"This is the game I've been waiting for," Aaliyah said. "We had a fire within us today."
Dimond's first goal looked like it might never reach the net, but a soft header from junior Lizzy Gogolowski caught South goalie Sarah Johnson moving in the wrong direction. Gogolowski said Johnson's momentum was carrying her toward the right side of the penalty box, so she crossed the ball back to the left for a 1-0 lead.
Aaliyah Lewis put Dimond up 2-0 midway through the first half, striking with a short-range cross to the right side. A few minutes into the second half, Ariela used her left foot from close range to extend the lead to 3-0 and junior Madison Richards sealed the win when she used her head to redirect a Sam Castle corner kick.
"The pass was perfect and I just jumped up and knocked it in," Richards said, "I was thinking it was about time, because I've missed a bunch of those this year."
South put the pressure on Dimond goalie Katelyn Sweeney late in the match, but the sophomore preserved her shutout with some nice saves, including a diving stop on a hard shot from South forward Katelynn Zanders.
"I knew that she was coming in hard and she was mad," Sweeney said. "You can't let down."
Sweeney said the shutout meant a lot on a personal level, because she was in goal for the Lynx during the first of half of last season's state title match.
If there was a difference between the title match and Thursday's meeting, Curran said his team was a little more rested this time and maybe a little more focused.
"They're just connecting better as a team this year overall," he said. "I didn't have too much to say to them at halftime."
Service 0, Chugiak 0
The Service and Chugiak girls played to a scoreless CIC tie at The Dome on Thursday night.
By JEREMY PETERS
Anchorage Daily News