Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Eva Toscos kicking the ball against Snider defender Haley Lydia Haydock at Carroll High School Thursday.
Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Snider's Nyasia Hardy blocking a kick from Carroll's Mia Bodenstein at Carroll High School Thursday.
Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Calista Geiger driving the ball against Snider defender August Montgomery at Carroll High School Thursday.
Thursday, October 05, 2017 11:20 pm
Carroll 5, Snider 0
Carroll girls soccer team overcomes slow start
JOSH PATTERSON | For The Journal Gazette
When you’re the four-time defending champs, you’re going to get everyone’s best effort. Such as it was for Carroll Thursday night, which fought off some tenuous early moments before pulling away from Snider 5-0 to advance to a Class 3A sectional championship Saturday.
“Our first 5-6 minutes wasn’t pretty,” Chargers coach Rick Smith said. “We were kind of going through the motions, and I told them we can’t have that against anybody, because things happen you don’t want. We settled down, and we locked it down like we needed to do.”
Snider looked to surprise with an early goal. A shot from near midfield was misplayed in goal by Carroll goalkeeper Kaitlyn Sagan, sailing over her head and bouncing off the crossbar. A couple inches lower, and the ball finds the net, which would have changed the game’s complexion.
“It’s like ... why did we let the shot get taken from the midfield?’,” Smith said. “That’s what we have to clamp down on. If we’re left that open, I have girls that are going to take that shot too, and we have scored from that same distance, so anybody can do it. They have some athletes at Snider and fortunately for us that didn’t go in.”
Instead, it served as a wake-up call, as Calista Geiger, Aubrey Vince and Mia Bodenstein each scored first-half goals to help the Chargers (14-4-1) win their seventh straight game.
While Eva Toscos, Carroll’s co-leading scorer entering Thursday’s contest, found herself secluded from the scoresheet at halftime, she did pick up an assist on Geiger’s second goal. Toscos’ shot from the keeper’s left caromed off the crossbar, and Geiger headed home the rebound to put the hosts up 4-0.
“When it hit the crossbar, it came straight up and I knew I could get it in because no one was around except the goalie,” Geiger said. “I waited until it came down so it wouldn’t go over, and I knew I had to get more pace on it because the goalie was close to it, and I tried to aim it somewhere else besides there.”
Toscos wouldn’t be shut out, however, corralling a loose ball out of a scramble inside the game’s final minute. Geiger stressed the importance of that goal, Toscos’ 11th on the season.
“It’s the seniors’ last year, and we want to get them involved as much as we can,” Geiger said. “I think it’s really great they score in the sectionals, in the last games that we have.”
Thursday’s final score looked nearly identical to the regular-season matchup, a 6-0 Carroll victory on Aug. 29. Snider coach Gabrielle Shipman said the two games didn’t play out in similar fashion.
“We came out a lot stronger tonight,” Shipman said. “I’m very proud of how we played. The effort on the field was tremendously better.”
Smith said he expects more of the same from East Noble in Saturday’s championship match.
“I told the girls, everybody sees Carroll come on the field and we’re going to get their best game, and that’s what we want,” Smith said. “We want people to give us their best game, and that’s what we’re going to get.”