CHATHAM, NJ - Sophie Straka admitted that it was getting in her head a little bit.
The junior midfielder had numerous opportunities to score for Chatham this season but entered the seventh game of the year with a bunch of near-misses and clanging shots off the post and crossbar - and no goals - on Tuesday.
The frustration for Straka melted away in the closing minutes when she connected with a 22-yard blast that beat the Mendham goalie to the upper left corner of the net, clinching the Cougars' 2-0 girls soccer win at Haas Field.
Sophie Straka wins the ball off the goal kick and scores with less than five minutes to play in the video below
Straka explained that she had extra incentive in this game because senior co-captain Jen Olnowich recently learned of a knee injury that is going to keep her out of action for a while.
"It's been really important for us to win for her and win without her," Straka said.
Junior midfielder Elizabeth Droner netted her team-leading fifth goal of the season for Chatham (6-1) to break open a scoreless game in the 51st minute. Droner hustled to reach a ball that bounced into the box, settling it out of the air and neatly slotting it to the far side of the net past the oncoming Mendham keeper.
Sophie Straka and Elizabeth Droner talk about the win over Mendham below
Senior goalie Callie Snyder made five saves in the shutout effort for the Cougars.
Chloe McGlynn gets off a shot for Chatham that the Mendham keeper knocks away in the second half