The girls soccer team defeated Blue Valley 1-0 on Tuesday, April 12.
Going into this game, senior midfielder Emma Wetzel knew the importance of getting the victory.
“We knew we had to play well,” Wetzel said. “Last year we lost to them in overtime and it was really close. Next year we’re going to be in the [Eastern Kansas League], so we wanted to do well and sort of set the tone for the season.”
The game didn’t provide much scoring, but was a game riddled with fouls, collisions and set pieces for both sides. Blue Valley couldn’t find an answer to junior forward Haley Freeman’s first half chip shot goal, with the score ending 1-0.
The physical play throughout the game made the team change to a 4-5-1 formation in the second half, moving senior midfielder Kaylee Chapman to center midfield and sophomore Cori Carver to outside defense. That in-game adjustment proved to be key in the victory, according to Freeman.
“[The formation change] really helped with the midfield defense — covering players, not having a gap in the back,” Freeman said. “That really helped with the physicalness. We just kept our cool, we didn’t get mad at each other. We worked for each other.”
The victory better prepares the team for future challenges later in the season according to Wetzel, and helps the team’s overall mindset.
“This is a hard team [to beat] and it was hard competition,” Wetzel said. “We just had a very defensive-minded second half and we were able to possess and stay strong. This is what we’re going to see in later seasons and hopefully down the road at state. It was a good win for us mentally.”
The team will go on to face Bishop Ward on the road on Thursday and St. James at home on Friday.