The Greenwood girls’ soccer team found its offense in time, blanking Warren Central 4-0 in the District 14 Tournament on Monday at South Warren High School.
Greenwood (10-2-1) scored all four goals in the second half to advance to Wednesday’s District 14 title game and earn a spot in next week’s Region 4 Tournament.
“I think that is the weird thing about the district tournament, the top two teams advance and it almost makes this game a little more important than the other one,” Greenwood coach Zac Lechler said. “Wednesday will be a good test and we are looking forward to region.”
The Lady Gators peppered the net in the first half with 16 shots – seven on goal – but were unable to get past Warren Central keeper Presley Compton.
“Unfortunately, we have had a lot of games like that this year where we come out slow in the first half,” Lechler said. “Our shots aren’t very accurate or they are right to the keeper, but we always fix what we need to in the second half. Our placement is always better in the second half. We just need to put together two halves here.”
Greenwood finally broke through in the 51st minute off a corner kick by Sarah Wiles that was headed in by Kayelee Manners. Hines added a goal four minutes later off a quick strike from just outside the box to make the score 2-0.
“I think we came out a lot stronger in the second half,” Paige Hines said. “I think that first goal just got the momentum up for our team and got us excited.”
The remainder of the game was contested under heavy wind gusts that made it harder to control the ball in the air. Despite the conditions, Greenwood kept attacking with Sarrah Palmer scoring off a pass from Callie Strode in the 62nd minute. Eight minutes later, Amaya Salvador capped the scoring when Ava Elliott found her on the backside in front of the net and Salvador was able to make the score 4-0.
“(The wind) really helped us get the ball up faster,” Hines said. “I think it helped us get some goals through and find the back of the net.”
Greenwood finished with 37 shots – 21 on goal.
Warren Central (9-4) finished with two shots on goal, the first coming in the 57th minute.
Greenwood advances to the district championship at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at South Warren, facing the winner of Tuesday’s game between South Warren and Bowling Green.
“We definitely want to win the district championship,” Hines said. “We are so excited to go to region. We just want to keep advancing and play our best.”