ARGOS — After a tentative 1-0 win over LaPorte in the first round of the Argos girls soccer invitational, the Argos girls soccer team looked to face stiffer competition in Munster. The Mustangs handled LaVille 3-0 in their semifinal and returned 10 seniors from last year’s semi-state squad. The Dragons, however, stepped up to the challenge before falling 2-1 in overtime.
“Our early game (LaPorte) was probably our worst effort of the season in terms of passing,” said Argos coach Jon Alcorn. “We passed out of bounds, we knocked panicky balls to no one, the pace was wrong — we certainly didn’t scare anyone who had to play us next.”
In that first round game, Stefany Parrish took a ball to the endline and laid it back to Ashley Rice for the game-winner with 10 minutes to go. While the Dragons outshot LaPorte 11-2, errant passes broke up many attacks before they started. In fact, only a few muffed shots by LaPorte star Kelsie Zawada allowed Argos to have the chance to advance.
The championship game, however, seemed to have a different Dragon squad. “Prior to warming up, we talked about the adjustments we were going to make, and I reminded them that we aren’t going to outrun teams or beat them up, but we have to out pass them,” said Alcorn.
Munster’s Eleni Agelopoulos, who finished the day with four goals, was tackled just outside the 18 and went down with an Argos defender. Agelopoulos, however, bounced up more quickly and hit a great ball into the left corner that Argos keeper Karlee VanDerWeele could do nothing about.
“At the half, we noted that the goal was not a result of an unmarked player, and there was a bit of luck to it,” said Alcorn. “We were playing well, and the kids knew it. As the game went on, we seemed to get stronger. When Ashley (Rice) made that play, everyone just fed off of it.”
‘That play’, with 10 minutes to go was by Rice, a senior striker. She battled two defenders to a through ball up the middle and hit a shot past keeper Gabby Roque to tie the game.
“It was a big time play and the best goal of her career,” said Alcorn. “She is only a half step in front of two good defenders, they are bigger and have their arms all over her at full speed, and she just willed herself in front and finished it. When we got to overtime, we agreed that while we were ready for penalty kicks, we wanted to play for the win. I challenged them that even if we conceded a goal in the overtime, we’d level it again.”
Agelopoulos made sure the Dragons would have the chance to play from behind as she hit a cross three minutes into the first OT period. VanDerWeele made two good blocks on the play, but the senior scorer got a third shot and put the Mustangs ahead. Junior midfielder Carly McCay grabbed the ball from the net and sprinted to the midfield stripe, and the Dragons put immediate pressure on the visitors. Argos, however, could not find the equalizer and fell to 3-2-1 despite the strong effort. Munster moved to 3-2.
In the consolation game, LaVille’s Elaina Ruiz scored in the 12th minute, and the Lancers held the lead until Geraldine Pattengale tied it for LaPorte in the 69th minute.
• ARGOS GIRLS SOCCER INVITATIONAL
MUNSTER 2, ARGOS 1 OT
M — Eleni Agelopoulos (unassisted)14th minute
A — Ashley Rice(unassisted)70th minute
M — Agelopoulos 84th minute
Shots on Goal: Munster 10, Argos 3
Saves: Munster 2 (Gabby Roque), Argos 8 (Karlee VanDerWeele)
Corners: Munster 3, Argos 0
Records: Munster 3-2, Argos 3-2-1
LAVILLE 1, LAPORTE 1
LAV — Elaina Ruiz (unassisted) 12th minute
LAP — Geraldrine Pattengale (unassisted) 69th minute
Shot on Goal: LaVille 4, LaPorte 5
Saves: LaVille 3 (Abbie McBride), LaPorte 4(Geraldine Pattengale)
Corners: LaVille 3, LaPorte 3
Records: LaVille 1-3-1, LaPorte 2-2-2