Carmel – One goal is all the Lady Eagles needed Monday evening in the girls soccer sectional opener in Carmel.
Staked to a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes on a goal by Abbey Iler, the Zionsville defense did the rest, shuttling out Westfield 1-0 to advance to the sectional semifinal.
“Once you get to the sectional, efforts like this is what it is going to take,” Zionsville head coach Ramon Aguillon said. “You have to be defensively solid. Our backline was tremendous, Westfield has some really athletic players with a lot of speed and we were able to contain them – that was the difference in the game.”
Goalkeeper Adelyn Busald made three saves in the win.
Aguillon praised the work of all his defenders, especially center backs Sophie Brown and Lily Robinson, who controlled the center of the field all night.
“They were huge,” Aguillon said. “Havng two backs that are fast and physical like that, it allows us to clean everything up. They did a great job. They had some pressure on them all game, and they stood firm and didn’t let them get off many good shots.”
Heading into the sectional, Aguillon had stressed the importance of finishing whatever opportunities his team would have, because they are so limited in the postseason.
On the Eagles first real chance of the game, Iler capitalized, using her speed to blow past her defender, and finishing a shot far post.
“To get a goal in the first five minutes was huge,” Aguillon said. “When you can get the first goal, that really sets the tone for the game. We had some other good chances that were really close, and it was a great, solid effort for everybody.”
The Eagles has other quality scoring chances, especially in the second half.
Lizzie Chlystun got in for a 1-on-1 from a tight angle, but the goalkeeper made a save. Just a few minutes later, Sadie Graham took a shot that seemed destined for the goal, but again the keeper made a save.
Compared to the last few games of the regular season, Aguillon said his team took their opportunities much better, but Westfield’s goalie just made the saves.
“Their keeper had a quality game and saved at least two sure goals,” Aguillon said. “We created the chances, and it wasn’t like we were missing open shots, she just made some great saves tonight. The good thing is our defense held up and we got the win.”
The Eagles advance to Thursday night, where they will take on Carmel.
The two teams met late in the regular season, with Carmel winning 3-1.
“The game on Thursday is going to be similar to tonight,” Aguillon said. “Defensively we have to be on point. They have some really talented players, it’s on their field and I’m sure they will have a big crowd. I would like us to possess the ball a little more in the midfield, and if we can do that, we will give ourselves a chance and that is all you can hope for.”
Kick-off on Thursday is scheduled for 5 p.m.