NAPOLEON – A nine minute span in the second half was the difference in the game as Archbold soared past Evergreen 4-1 in a Division III girls soccer district semifinal Wednesday at Napoleon.
“In the second half, there was never a doubt in my mind what was going to happen,” stated Archbold assistant coach Jennifer Kidder. “We possessed the ball tremendously in that half. They played well and dominated that second half.”
Stuck in a 1-all game, the Streaks broke through for three goals for the win. With 25:03 left to play, Dakota Stamm was the recipient of an open net when the Evergreen keeper came out of the net. She added the final goal with 14:14 left when she ran in off the corner and fired a shot.
In between, Regan Ramirez converted a turnover into a goal to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Streaks.
“We had some unlucky mistakes on the back end,” Evergreen coach Joshua Radel said of the second half of the game. “It’s not like they did anything special in beating us. We made some mistakes. A team like Archbold capitalizes on your mistakes.”
Evergreen got out of trouble right away, when keeper Myra Kuszmaul knocked away a point-blank shot 15 seconds into the contest.
“I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous,” Radel said about the start to the game. “They caught us flat-footed. We weren’t expecting them to attack just like that. We got the save and everybody started to settle down a little bit.”
Archbold was able to get the first goal of the game. Stamm broke through for the first of her three goals to give the Streaks a 1-0 lead with 29:06 left in the half.
“We started out super-strong, then lost our momentum a little bit,” said Kidder. “We did pretty well with possessing the ball, they have a lot of speed up top. For a while, we were just playing solid defense.”
The game stayed that way until Evergreen’s Asia Gensch put one in just above the crossbar from 30-plus yards off a free kick with 16.2 seconds left in the half.
“Asia just blasted one and put it in the back of the net,” said Radel. “We had momentum going into halftime, I feel.”
Archbold outshot Evergreen 12-7 in the contest.
The Vikings finished the year with a 10-5-1 record.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org