By Anthony Jones
A big week for the Lady Knights soccer team kicked off last week with a Sectional Semifinal match with the Marion Wildcats. The game was held on June 7 at Triad High School.
As they have often done this year, Triad struck early and often. In the 19 minute, both Laney Harshany and Ezra Wilder booted in goals to go up 2-0. Karen Speer tapped in another first half score to go into the intermission up 3-0.
A stretch of 61 seconds in the second half put the game out of reach for Marion. Kinlee Lippert kicked off the scoring spree with 29:12 minutes left to play. 20 seconds later another goal put the score at 5-0 and 41 seconds later Wilder scored her second goal of the game to go up 6-0. A Gina Catanzaro grew the lead to the final score of 7-0.
Triad returned to their home field on June 11 for a Sectional title match against the Waterloo Bulldogs. The Lady Knights had defeated Waterloo twice earlier in the year, but on one of those occasions it took a goal in double overtime to win 1-0.
Triad’s Head Coach Matt Bettlach said after the game of the conference opponent, “(Waterloo) is always a tough team that has good players.”
The Bulldogs looked tough early in the game, having several strong scoring chances in the box. But as they have so often done this, Triad’s defense stood strong.
After a short water break given by the officials half way through the first half, Triad seemed to take control of the game. Then with just inside of 14 minutes to play in the opening half, the Lady Knights found pay dirt.
The goal came off of a throw-in from Harshay with her signature flip throw. Waterloo’s goalie tipped the ball up and above the goal, but it bounced off of the top of the goal twice to a waiting Gracie Giacoletto who headed it in. The Bulldogs quickly appealed to the officials that the ball hit the field goal post while in the air, which would have made it a dead ball. The officials briefly convened to discuss this appeal, but quickly decided that the goal stood.
Despite promising chances by both teams, including a last minute attack by Waterloo that featured their goalie near Triad’s net, no more scores were added.
The win advances to the Super-Sectional round of the IHSA State Series. Triad’s next opponent after the game became the Chatham Glenwood Titans, a familiar face for the Lady Knights deep in the playoffs.
Bettlach said of the undefeated Chatham team after the win over Waterloo, “I’ve seen them play a couple times and they look quick. That is a well run program up there.”