The West Union girls soccer team’s season came to an end Monday night as the Lady Dragons fell to the Westfall Mustangs, 5-1 in a first-round home sectional tournament match up.
“We had six girls who had never played before and getting the team together and putting in all that time is something the girls did for themselves and also for their school,” West Union head coach Joe Kramer said after the loss. “Hopefully they have good memories and built some good friendships. You remember your friends or the funny things you used to do – those are the things you remember.”
West Union held off Westfall for nearly the first quarter of the game until the Mustangs were awarded a free-kick off a handball by a West Union defender about 25 yards from goal which was slammed high into the net out of the reach of sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Cooper and the Mustangs took a 1-0 lead.
It wasn’t more than a minute later though that West Union came right back with a goal of their own when senior Donna Brodt found the back of the net to bring the game even at 1-1.
“We came right back,” Kramer said. “It was a great equalizer.”
Westfall had a response of their own about 90 seconds later when a shot taken from the penalty spot was hit right at Cooper who claimed, preserving the tie for the time being.
About 15 minutes before halftime a pass to an unmarked Westfall player in the box resulted in the second goal for the visitors, and before the half ended they added one more to go into the half up 3-1.
Offense was tough to come by for West Union in the second half and the game was mostly played in the West Union final third. About midway through the second half, Westfall struck again when a pass into the box that hit off a West Union defender’s arm, that could have been called for a penalty, fell to an open Westfall player, who just scooted the ball over the line for the fourth Mustang goal.
The final goal came with about six minutes left as a long shot from outside the box was placed well into the corner, beating Cooper, and the Dragons, 5-1.
“They had a few girls a little more athletic,” Kramer said. “We had miscommunication with our defensive alignment. Our fullbacks kind of got out of sync and once we corrected that in the second half we shut them down pretty good. It’s just a product of one girl who hadn’t played until two days until the season started and the other girl came out about 10 days after the season started, so there was plenty of inexperience at that position.”
Despite the early exit, West Union still won a game for the first time in a number of years, defeating St. Patrick, and Kramer’s team earned a lot of respect from area coaches for their play this year.
“I was at the coaches meeting at the all-league selection and the Eastern coach [Amanda Hauck] stood up and said, ‘If I could get my girls to play with the intensity that your girls play with, I would be the happiest coach in the world.’”
Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.