There are times when a team just doesn’t have enough, and its season doesn’t end the way it wants it to end.
Consider the Carroll girls soccer team. In a season where this squad scored 98 goals in its first 25 games, the Lady Dragons found a goalie from Hebron who was their match in the Class 5A Region I championship game last Saturday at Justin Northwest.
All the Lady Hawks needed was a goal in the first 20 seconds of the second half and let their goalie do the rest. Hebron denied Carroll a return trip to the Class 5A state tournament with a 1-0 victory. Carroll ended its season at 23-2-1. Ironically, Carroll’s two losses were by 1-0 scores. Hebron’s goal was the only goal the Lady Dragons allowed in the postseason.
“We really generated some good opportunities, but their goalie really held up,” Carroll coach Matt Colvin said. “We had a sprint in from 25 yards outs and then worked on a free kick from about 35 yards. Then we had a shot hit the back in the box.
“We were comfortable in games scoring multiple goals and only scoring one. We’re a momentum-driven team. And we really pounced on them and put some pressure on them. But give their goalie credit. She did a great job.”
When Keller defeated Carroll during the regular season, it seemed that it found the blueprint by jamming the middle and forcing Carroll to play more from the outside.
However, Hebron didn’t do that, Colvin said. In fact, the Lady Hawks have enjoyed their own dominating season. Both teams played their standard 4-3-3 formation. It’s just that Hebron converted its opportunity.
“They played a good brand of soccer, and we were going to be expecting that,” Colvin said. “I would have liked to find a way to get us to the state tournament. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Of course, emotions were high following the setback. But Colvin said he reminded his team of all that it accomplished. For one, the team goal total was one of the highest in school history. For a program to average nearly four goals per game speaks to the prolific scoring punch.
Other records set
Although the University Interscholastic League reduced the number of games soccer teams could play, the Lady Dragons still managed to play set a couple of single-season records.
First, the seven goals allowed broke the record of 11 set by the 2012 squad. Second, the losses were the fewest by any team in school history.
“Those are things that we can take away from all that was accomplished,” Colvin said. “What I told them was that I didn’t want this game to define their season, because it didn’t. We had a young team that really learned to play well together.”
Looking ahead to 2015
Carroll loses the likes of Elise Landers, Payton Gruenewald and Kellsey Long. But there is a solid core of scorers returning in Alli Gardner, Grace Cory, Brittany Martin, Allie Luna and Mary Meehan.
Plus, goalie Jamie Phelps will also be returning. The team should also have Devin Zavasky. She missed the entire year with an injury.
“We’re graduating some leadership but we’re getting key people back,” Colvin said. “We have a lot to look forward to.”