Girls Soccer Prepares for State Matchup on Thursday

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Girls Soccer Prepares for State Matchup on Thursday

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Tomorrow, the Warriors girls soccer team heads to Michael G. Morrison Stadium to face off against the first ranked Millard West Wildcats in the first round of the state tournament. The road to the state tournament was very different for both of these clubs. The Warriors headed into districts off of two wins against Lincoln Pius X and Millard North being the number two seed in the district tournament. The Warriors passed through Omaha South in the first round with relative ease as Senior Kaley Heinz sent in her thirteenth goal on the year for the one to nothing victory. In the District A-3 championship against fourth-ranked Lincoln Southeast, the Warriors let in two early goals in the first half which in many other games, might’ve been caused to throw in the towel. After both teams traded early goals in the second half the Warriors scored two more goals in the final five minutes of regulation to send to the game to overtime. Off of the momentum from the late two goals to send the game to overtime, the Warriors sent in another pair of goals, only allowing one goal themselves to get them here for the state tournament.

Millard West, on the other hand, came into the District A-2 tournament a top of the state with a fifteen and one record and looked to continue their offensive dominance. Facing the one and thirteen Benson Bunnies the Wildcats scored a ridiculous sixteen goals in the first half to easily send them to the district championship. In the championship, the team faced the nine and seven Lincoln Pius X Thunderbolts and didn’t give them much of an opportunity. Scoring three goals in the first half and another four goals in the second, the Wildcats beat the Thunderbolts with a score of seven to nothing.

Both of these teams have a lot of momentum coming into this game but the early 9 a.m. start time might hinder some energy needed for the players. Being able to keep up the emotion that the team has had in recent games is very important, especially to senior midfielder Sylvia Fehr.

“Just making sure everyone’s awake will be very important so we can start off really strong and not let in an early goal just because we’re half asleep,” Fehr said.

Millard West’s offense this year is definitely the best scoring offense in the state leading Class A with eighty-six goals. However, in the previous matchup between these two teams, the Warriors held the strong Wildcat offense only to a single goal, their second-lowest scoring game all year.

“They have some really good forwards, that we were able to stop. Going against their defense we need to create more opportunities so we can score and put ourselves in a good spot,” Fehr said.

Millard West’s defense also has seemed to shine this season only allowing six goals throughout its sixteen games played so far. In the earlier matchup against these two teams, Millard West only allowed one shot on goal throughout the entire game.

“They’ve been number one all year and we’ve battled against them{Millard West] in that game and it was pretty even, we just couldn’t get anything to go in on the opportunities that we did have, which wasn’t many,” Head Coach Nathan Moseley said.

The Warriors offense, although being a somewhat dark spot for the team throughout the season only scoring a combined fifty goals all season(10th place Class A), has had a lot of success as of recent. Since the one to nothing loss to Millard West the team has scored twelve goals throughout its five games, five of which come from last weeks district championship.

“Since our last time we played them, we’ve definitely gotten better. We’ve had more opportunities at goal and I think if we continue to play like how we’ve been playing and how we played against them the first time, we’ll be just fine and it’ll be a really good game,” senior Elisabeth Nielsen said.

The biggest question in this game for the Warriors is if the defense can slow down the strong offense of Millard West and give opportunities for the team on the other end. If defenders Grace Berentson and Elizabeth Nielsen, as well as goaltender Georgia Wimmer, can have strong games in the back end the Warriors have plenty of offensive weapons including Kaley Heinz and Sylvia Fehr to edge out the top seed. If everything comes together, and both sides of the ball play smart the Warriors might move on to the next round.