Lan Nguyen burst onto the local soccer scene Wednesday, scoring two goals during Evans High School's 4-3 win at Aquinas.
The match was only the freshman's second as a high school player, but she's already earning high marks.
"She's an excellent player," Knights assistant coach Ernst Cleophat said. "Of course, she's young and she still has a lot to learn. But we're very satisfied with her skills and speed."
The Knights are off to a 2-0 start after beating Harlem to open the season. Senior Emily Belchyk scored the winning goal at 6:06 in the second half. The Irish had tied the game twice, but players suffered from leg cramps throughout the game and couldn't tie it for a third time.
"I was very, very pleased with our performance," Aquinas coach Tommy Garcia said. "I think the thing that hurt us was our lack of fitness."
Evans jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes. Nguyen scored the game's first goal when she broke into the open field and sneaked a shot into the right corner at 33 minutes.
Knights freshman Karsyn Kendrick then launched an 18-yarder.
The Irish battled back.
Aquinas senior Caitlin Smith found herself with a little room 20 yards out and ripped a shot that curved into the top right of the net. Teammate Ashley Jackson then dribbled free and worked a shot past the Evans goalkeeper to even it at the 4:05 mark.
The second half wasn't good for Aquinas's health, and Nguyen added a go-ahead goal three minutes into the second half.
As the Irish went down one by one with cramps, Evans continued its push.
"I liked the effort because we hung in there to get the win," Cleophat said. "But at the same time, we made a few mistakes where they could have capitalized."
Nguyen soaked up her first time in the spotlight.
"This is the best I've seen us play before," she said. "I love it."
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