The Zionsville girls soccer team didn’t deserve to lose Wednesday night in its home opener against Guerin Catholic.
The two sectional foes played even over the course of 80 minutes at the ZYSA Championship field, but the visiting Golden Eagles scored off a corner with just under four minutes to play to come away with a 2-1 victory.
Despite the result not going in his team’s favor, Zionsville head coach Ramon Aguillon said Wednesday night’s game was the way his team has to play the rest of the year.
“Games like this, against a sectional opponent, these are the games we are going to see this year in terms of intensity,” Aguillon said. “The way it was played, it looked like more than a regular season game. It was really good for the girls, I thought we played really well, and sometimes in the game of soccer you get a little unlucky. But credit to Guerin, they were able to take advantage of a couple of things and put the ball in the back of the net. We are disappointed in the result, but not upset with the way we played.”
Guerin took the lead with 10 minutes left in the first half.
The Golden Eagles’ Emerson Jennings got through on a breakaway, and Zionsville keeper Adelyn Busald made a great sliding save, but the rebound caromed off Jennings knee as she fell down and into the goal.
Zionsville took control of the game after that, nearly scoring off a corner with five minutes left in the first half, only to see four attempts cleared off the line.
The hosts continued to pressure in the second half, keeping the pressure on Guerin’s end. Aguillon said the response to going down 1-0 was what he wanted to see.
“We are going to be put in situations where we face adversity and how we react to it is key,” Aguillon said. “We did an excellent job of coming back today, and ultimately tying the game. If you look at the way we played, I liked it, and it was a good game from our end. You want to ultimately tie the result to the effort, so the girls can see that. So it was disappointing today, but the girls are doing the right things.”
Zionsville tied the game with 6:25 left in the game, when after a scramble in the box, Sylvie Morgan was able to put the ball in the back of the net to tie the game.
But less than three minutes later, Guerin came back to retake the lead, scoring off a loose ball following a corner to win the game.
Aguillon said one thing they want to emphasize moving forward is not letting up in that situation.
“It’s a big learning opportunity for us,” Aguillon said. “We score that goal, and we just kind of turned it down a little bit. That is when you should up the pressure and look for that second goal. Their girl hit a great shot to score, but we let her get to it after hitting the ground and didn’t clear it. These are the lessons that are going to help us as the season goes on.”
Zionsville now has a week to prepare for its HCC opener on the road at Fishers.
Aguillon said he is looking forward to being able to address some of the things the Eagles saw in their first two games.
“This will be our largest gap in between games and we have to take advantage in training,” Aguillon said. “We are really going to emphasize some of the things we have to get better at. But again, we are disappointed in today’s result, but not in the way we played.”