ARGOS — Sitting out intermittent stretches of the season with a hamstring injury, it’s taken awhile for Argos freshman Megan Ditmire to get rolling. Once she did, she brought the whole Argos squad with her.
Ditmire scored her first goal of the season Tuesday, putting the Lady Dragons on the board in the 32nd minute with a one-touch shot on a dual assist by Carly McCay and Jami Patterson. Argos struck again just 26 seconds later to go up 2-0 at the half, and the ISCA Class A No. 14 Dragons rolled to an eventual 6-0 win over Covenant Christian in a Class A Argos Girls Soccer Sectional quarterfinal at Kindt Field.
“She’s missed most of the season, really, with a hamstring,” said Argos Head Girls Soccer Coach Jon Alcorn of Ditmire. “A promising freshman and has just stepped up so for her to be on the end of that big combination play and put a ball in the back of the net to start us off and break the ice, that was big.
“She’s an extra possession person out there, she’s smart with the ball and with that first goal kind of lived up to what our preseason expectations for her were. Since she hasn’t gotten to play a lot this year because of the injury I think she kind of still feels like a freshman even at this point in the year so that was great for her to be able to be there, make the right play and be able to finish it well.”
Less than a half-minute after Ditmire notched her first score of the year, junior striker Patterson scored her 20th goal on a Stefany Parrish assist in the 33rd minute for the Dragon’s second goal before the break. While Argos held an 8-3 shots on goal advantage in the first half, the Sectional 34 hosts struggled to finish their shots early.
“We really were playing well, possessing the ball, but when you do possess the ball well on somebody then you have to finish shots,” said Alcorn. “We were beating them with the wall passes to the side and then cranking the ball instead of just passing it past the keeper.”
“Covenant Christian played solid,” he added. “Good defense, it was hard to crack it. At the half we just said ‘Ladies, get that one extra pass into the box and then crank it or get the ball wide and get them out of there.”
While Patterson tallied her 20th score, junior mid Samantha Hopkins reached double digits on the year with her 10th goal on an unassisted shot in the 53rd minute, Parrish scored twice in the 50th and 65th minutes, and German foreign exchange student Andrea Bartos kept the action going late against an undermanned Covenant squad, juggling in a goal from close in the 75th minute to bring the score to its final.
“She hasn’t played a lot of soccer, but she’s very quick,” said Argos of Bartos. “She’s just a nice person to put up there, especially when a team’s tired. A speedy person that maybe hasn’t played a lot of soccer but is athletic and learned well, it’s kind of fun to see her keeping things going there.”
Covenant Christian closes out the season at 8-8-1 while Argos moves to 11-6 and will face Boone Grove, which beat Rensselaer Central 5-1 in Tuesday’s other quarterfinal, in a semifinal Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
“The biggest thing is they’re good at having the ball at midfield and having big, crossing long balls, and so if we handle that well, we’ll be fine,” said Alcorn. “(Paige) Aguilera is a lefty and she’s great but she generally goes left, so if we play her smart we should be able to keep her out. They’re a long ball attacking team, and they’re pretty good at it.
What we’re going to try to do is to try to attack the outside because their outside defenders are suspect.
“It could go either way. I’m picking us, but even in this game here it stayed way too close for too long even though we were doing a good job possessing. It’s probably going to come down to who finishes their shots.”
• ARGOS 6, COVENANT CHRISTIAN 0
At Argos Sectional
Megan Ditmire (Carly McCay, Jami Patterson), 32nd minute
Patterson (Stefany Parrish), 33rd minute
Parrish (Allison Flower), 50th minute
Samantha Hopkins, 53rd minute
Parrish, 65th minute
Andrea Bartos, 75th minute
Shots on goal: Argos 16, Covenant Christian 6
Saves: Karlee VanDerWeele (Argos) 6, Adrienne Funderburg (Covenant) 10
Corners: Argos 6, Covenant 3
Fouls: Argos7, Covenant 5
Records: Argos 11-6, Covenant 8-8-1 (Final)