CONTINENTAL – They have only been around for four years but Evergreen used Sydney Woodring’s second half goal to break a 2-2 tie, and give the Vikings their second straight Division III girls soccer sectional title with a 3-2 win over fourth-seeded Continental Thursday.
“I think it’s amazing, only being a four-year program,” said Viking coach Joshua D. Radel. “It speaks volumes of what we have done so far and where the program can be heading. I mean the first year we were a sport we won just one game. I think it really makes a mark of how far we have come since then.”
The victory propelled the Vikings into a district semifinal Tuesday at Evergreen against top-seed Archbold in the nightcap of a doubleheader.
Swanton takes on Ottawa-Glandorf in the opener.
Evergreen jumped out to an early lead as Asia Gensch scored the first goal of the game, then Paige Radel rifled home another off a rebound of a Kayla Gleckler shot in the first 10 minutes of the game to put the Vikings on top 2-0.
“Asia had an amazing goal to get us going,” stated Radel. “When the ball is at her feet you never know what is coming and she let it fly and found the back of the net.
“The second one, Kayla had a nice shot that came out and Paige was in the right place at the right time.”
However, the Vikings went scoreless the rest of the half, knocking a trio of shots off the crossbar, and Continental came out fast in the second half.
Alex Hoeffel split the middle two minutes into the last 40 and scored to slice the deficit in half, then a short time later, scored again to knot the game with 30 minutes still to play.
“A 2-0 lead is definitely a scary lead to have in soccer,” said Radel. “One goal and momentum has changed and then another and now it’s tied, and that’s exactly what happened to us. We made a change and put Paige at middie and Kierstyn Taylor came in and marked up one of their players for us and kind of took her out of the game. That allowed us to eyeball some of their other players and get back in control a little bit for the rest of the half.”
Just before the 25 minute mark, a loose ball came out from the goal box and Woodring hammered it home from just past 18 yards out for the go-ahead goal.
“That really gave us the momentum back obviously,” explained Radel. “It really solidified the fact that ‘OK this is now our game to win.’ We have been in situations this year where we had a lead, let it slip and then folded, but this time we stay strong and finished up the right way.”
The victory was the ninth of the year for Evergreen.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org