Liberty Township, Ohio — The Zionsville girls soccer team couldn’t have asked for a much better start to the season than they got on Saturday afternoon.
Zionsville traveled east into Ohio, and started the season off with a 3-0 victory over Lakota East.
“To go out on the road for the season opener, and get a convincing 3-0 win, it’s a great result all around,” Zionsville head coach Ramon Aguillon said. “We wanted to start on the right foot, and it’s a great place for us to start.”
Midway through the first half, the Eagles took a 1-0 lead when Lizzie Chlystun scored off a cross from Abbey Iler.
Sadie Graham then scored twice in the second half, pushing the lead to 2-0 with 20 minutes to play, then finishing off the game with a goal in the final minute off another assist from Iler.
Zionsville scored just 24 goals in 17 games a season ago, so it was great to see the offense clicking early, Aguillon said.
“It was very encouraging to finish off our chances,” Aguillon said. “We have been focusing on not just creating chances, but putting them away as well. It was great offensive way to start the season. We created a lot of chances too, and maybe could have had a couple more. As the game went on, we played progressively better, especially in the second half.”
It wasn’t just the offense that was clicking for the Eagles in the opener.
The defense came away with the shutout too, something they only did three times a season ago.
“I was really impressed with our backline and think they all played an excellent game,” Aguillon said. “Sophie Brown is a junior, Lily Robinson is a sophomore, Katie Chadwick is a freshman and Sharada Subramaniam is a junior, so they still have time to improve. Adelyn (Busald) played great too, making nine saves and kept the scoreline in our favor. Right at the end, she made a great stretching save to keep it 2-0, then we went down and scored the third goal.”
Brown and Robinson got a lot of time in the backline last year, as did Busald in goal.
But the other two are new to the varsity line-up and the group is still working to solidify themselves as a unit.
Aguillon said getting a shutout in the opener is a big confidence boost.
“I think it is great for them,” Aguillon said. “It was a first varsity start for both of our outside backs. Sophie and Lily have a year under their belts together, and they work really well together. We want to be an offensive minded team, but we also want to be defensively secure.”
The Eagles are back in action on Wednesday in the home opener against Guerin Catholic.
“It’s a sectional opponent and Guerin is always a quality team,” Aguillon said. “We know they are going to be a tough opponent, and it will be great to see where we are at early in the season. We have a couple tough opponents coming up, so getting this first win was huge.”
Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Zionsville Times Sentinel and Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.