On Saturday night, in abnormally cold conditions from what we’ve seen so far this fall, the Minford Lady Falcons defeated the Portsmouth West Lady Senators 8-1 in their girls’ soccer Division III sectional semifinal matchup.
The Lady Falcons would get on the scoreboard early and often in this contest. The first Minford goal of the night came from junior Amy Shoemaker and was assisted by fellow junior Cameron Spencer at the 27:15 mark of the first half.
Nearly ten minutes later, at the 18:13 mark, senior Aurie Coriell scored the Lady Falcons second goal unassisted to give her team the 2-0 lead.
This is when the pace would really pick up for Minford. At the 15:20 mark, Spencer found the back of the net herself from an assist by Coriell. Not even two minutes later, junior Abhirami Karunananthan took the ball nearly the length of the field to find the back of the net herself on an unassisted goal at the 13:31 mark of the half to give Minford the 4-0 lead.
After a handball in the penalty box, Coriell was awarded a penalty kick which she was able to put home at the 9:35 mark to give her her second goal of the contest. Minford would score two more goals prior to the halftime whistle: one from senior Alaina McKnight at the 5:59 mark of the half, and one from senior Lynzee Aeh with 2:12 left in the half. The Lady Falcons would tout a 7-0 lead into the halftime break.
The second half would see much less action than the first as both teams would score one goal apiece.
At the 23:17 mark, the Lady Senators scored their only goal of the night from freshman Sierra Johnson which was assisted by sophomore Ashlynn Pfau to bring the score to 7-1. As the game neared its’ end, junior Sarah Bender was able to find the back of the net at the 2:55 mark off an assist from Aeh to seal the game in favor of Minford, 8-1.
“We came out kind of flat against Fairland the other night” said Lady Falcons head coach Shane Tieman, “We knew that even though we had more numbers on the bench than West, we couldn’t let up even a little bit. We knew we needed to come out strong because we knew they would. We actually moved the ball a little better tonight than we have, so that was good to see.”
Minford’s victory over West advances the Lady Falcons to the sectional championship on Wednesday against Wheelersburg. The Lady Falcons most recent contest with the SOC champion Lady Pirates resulted in a loss, but Minford actually led for the first 68 minutes before Wheelersburg’s Libby Miller and Chelsee Steele scored in the 69th and 72nd minutes respective to give the Lady Pirates the victory.
“We have to get two good practices in, and we have to play fundamental soccer” said Tieman when asked how his team prepares for Wednesday’s rematch knowing how close they were to defeating Wheelersburg last time the two faced, “When we do the simple stuff right, we do better. Passing instead of dribbling through people, looking for the easier angle, just talking out there. If we do those things, and if we play with our best hustle, we have a chance to beat them. They’re very fast on turf, and that’s something we have to account for is there speed. They’re hard to figure out with that speed, but we’re going to do our best. We played them straight up last time and held them scoreless for most of the game and had a good lead, these girls don’t have any quit in them when it comes to playing Wheelersburg, so we’ll see what happens.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT