Sheridan – It may be a different class and a different sectional, but the Western Boone girls soccer team is one step closer to winning their third-straight sectional title.
The Lady Stars faced host Sheridan on Tuesday and came away with a 3-1 win advancing to Thursday’s sectional semifinal against Tri-Central.
“It is a great feeling to get this first one out of the way,” Western Boone head coach Brett Craig said. “The girls have been working the whole season for this and they were excited to get started.”
The win continued the Stars hot streak that they started on Sept. 16 against Sheridan.
Western Boone had lost their first nine games of the year, and had conceded 47 goals in those matches. But the Stars topped the Blackhawks 3-2, and won four of their final five games of the regular season to enter the sectional on a high note.
“The team came together,” Craig said. “They realized what their roles are, where they need to be and where their heads have to be at. It just came together at the right time for us.”
The game was scoreless for most of the first half, before Madison Jones made it 1-0 with three minutes left before the break.
Craig said that he is always confident that his team will find a way to the top, but said getting a goal before the half was big.
“That was good for us,” Craig said. “We play the same where we are winning or losing, so it doesn’t matter all that much. We have a good team and they have a good head for those situations.”
While it maybe didn’t affect the Stars all that much, it certainly seemed to have a negative affect on the Blackhawks.
Jones and Maddie Florey scored in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to give Western Boone a 3-0 lead to blow the game wide open.
“I definitely think our constant pressure wore away at them,” Craig said. “I think you could see that at the start of the second half.”
The Blackhawks tried to mount a comeback later in the game.
They were awarded a penalty kick with 25 minutes left, but the shot hit the crossbar to keep the game 3-0 in favor of the Stars. The hosts didn’t get another serious shot on goal until they scored just under three minutes remaining but by then it was too little, too late.
After allowing so many goals early in the year, the Stars have cleaned things up in the last six games, allowing just 11 goals.
“Our defense is coming together really well,” Craig said. “They are playing as a team and a unit, not as individuals. That has been the key for us and how it should be.”
Next up is a match up with Tri-Central, who is 1-10-1 on the year and have been out-scored 63-8.
The match begins at approximately 7 p.m. after the conclusion of the first semifinal between University and Tipton.
“We just have to keep stepping up and playing our game,” Craig said. “If we do that, we will be in good shape.”