Rout of Washington evens soccer record
A defensive adjustment by De Soto girls soccer coach Darren Erpelding backfired last Thursday when Immaculata's Rebecca Gantt secured an overtime 2-1 win with a dead ball goal from 23 yards out.
"I had just moved Maggie (Saylors) off of the post thinking the girl was going to play a ball in the air," Erpelding explained. "Instead she shot right where Maggie was and the ball hit the post and went in.
"If we clear right there, we go to a second overtime and have a very good chance to win. Instead we take the loss and learn from it and try to get the next one."
Going into the overtime, the first-year coach thought he had the fresher team. But the Wildcats struggled to finish on scoring opportunities in the extra period.
"By the end of the game (regulation), they were grabbing their knees," Erpelding said. "Our girls were tired but didn't show it. Once we learn to finish on a consistent basis, we will score a lot of goals."
Julie Bray came off the bench to give De Soto a huge spark in the second half. The freshman went through a tackle, broke into the open field and out-ran the Raider defense for the score and a 1-0 Wildcat advantage.
But about two minutes later, Gantt tied the match when the Wildcat defense broke down.
Erpelding credited freshman goalkeeper Megen Bedford for a solid performance in goal. Despite giving up the two goals, Bedford had seven saves for the game.
"Megen grew up a lot tonight and started to solidify herself as a good goalkeeper," the coach said. "She still has work to do, but she is coming along very rapidly."
The coach was also pleased with the play of his midfield and the job it did getting the ball to the Wildcats' forwards.
De Soto was able to connect on just one-of-14 shots on goal on the night. Roxanne Grizzle led the way in attempts with four shots, while Jordan Holden took three. Bray scored her goal on her only attempt.
The Wildcats bounced back on Tuesday with a convincing 10-0 thumping of Kansas City Washington on the road.
Erpelding talked to his club before the game about coming out and dominating the contest from the opening whistle. The Wildcats responded.
Less than a minute into the game Nicole Radcliffe scored the first goal on a breakaway. The freshman took the ball, blew by a defender and then rifled a shot by the Washington goalkeeper. Radcliffe's score opened up the floodgates.
De Soto poured in a couple more goals to give the visitors a 3-0 lead just three or four minutes into the game.
Erpelding knew then that he could start putting in his reserve players. All 19 players that traveled to the game played in the game.
"The great part about the game was it didn't matter who we had in there, we still dominated them (Washington)," Erpelding said. "We came out and took it to them, and they rolled over."
The Wildcats defense was also stellar on the night. Washington was unable to get the ball across the midfield until there were about seven minutes left in the first half.
Bedford then did a good job of foiling the breakaway and keeping the shutout alive. Washington took just two shots on the night.
Radcliffe scored a game high four goals for the Wildcats. Grizzle added two scores to the cause, while Jessica Blankenship, Saylors, Hanna Konetzni and Bedford all scored a goal.
Saylors, Carrie Buser, Grizzle, Blankenship, Holden, Katie Beck, Jennifer Hill, and Radcliffe all had one assist.
De Soto, 2-2, will play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against Lansing at home.