Harrison, McCutcheon girls march to sectional final
October 8, 2012McCutcheon High School
Photos ! Check Them Out! Even when other aspects aren’t working, Harrison’s girls soccer teamcan rely on its defense to keep matches close.
On Thursday, Lauren Haag, Bailey Sliger, Hannah Clauson and Lizzie Lehman provided a strong line in front of keeper Jessie Gaisbauer and limited Lafayette Jeff to two shots on goal in a 3-0 Class 2A Harrison Sectional semifinal victory.
“We are always good at keeping our shape and not getting broken down,” Sliger said. “If we miss one ball, we are always there to cover each other, dropping and pinching. We are not a weak side as far as defense. We like to build from our defense.”
The Raiders will defend their championship at 4 p.m. Saturday against McCutcheon, a 6-0 winner over Twin Lakes.
Harrison (9-6-3) defeated the Mavericks (10-8) in overtime of last year’s sectional championship and won a 2-0 match on Sept. 5.
With 11 seniors on their roster, the Mavericks feel a sense of urgency to clear the hurdle against their Tippecanoe School Corp. rival and claim their first sectional title since 2008.
“We just really want to win this year. None of us have a sectional (championship) that are here,” said senior Amy Corley, who had two assists against Twin Lakes. “Senior year is definitely what makes it so much more urgent. Freshman and sophomore year, it was a bummer, but it didn’t kick in until my junior and senior year how much it really means to win something like that.”
Against Twin Lakes, McCutcheon fired 23 shots on goal. Elizabeth Burton and Rachel Williams each scored twice and Tori Stevens and Becca Spitalniak added goals.
Stevens also had an assist, and her goal 43 seconds into the match provided all the offense the Mavericks needed. It wasn’t intended to be a shot — but a misfired cross had enough spin that it hit the ground and bounced over the Indians’ keeper.
“It just kind of rolled off my foot,” Stevens said. “It was supposed to go cross, but it went in, and I got lucky I guess.”
Lafayette Jeff’s defense, aided by the play of goalkeeper Karrie Keating, was able to keep Harrison from scoring until freshman Sydney Rainey booted a deflected ball in traffic off a corner kick into the net in the 25th minute.
Scyler Wright fired Jeff’s first shot on goal in the 65th minute, but Gaisbauer corralled the shot. Two minutes later, Katie Musi headed in Hayley Jacobs’ pass to put Harrison up 2-0. Ryley Bugay scored the final goal on a free kick from 30 yards in the 71st minute.
“They capitalized on the opportunities they got up top and they had good shots,” Jeff senior Erin West said. “There’s really nothing we can do about that. We had a strong defense.”
“We had a few looks, but we just couldn’t get on the ball.”