GREENFIELD — Coach Kim Lauffer wants to build the Creston girls soccer program to the point where “moral victories” aren’t an accepted outcome, but the Panthers took a big step forward Thursday in a 5-0 loss to a powerful Nodaway Valley/West Central Valley/Adair-Casey team.
The Valley girls, now 2-0, were coming off a 5-0 win over Missouri Valley with a 36-4 advantage in shots attempted. Those numbers loomed dangerous for a Creston team that had just lost 4-1 to Missouri Valley.
Instead of getting routed by the 10-goal mercy rule, which was a distinct possibility on comparative scores, the Panthers fought to a 1-0 margin through one half before yielding four goals in the final 40 minutes.
“We got tired,” coach Kim Lauffer said. “But tonight was not a loss in my mind. Tonight we showed so much improvement in four days.”
After a 10-0 loss to Harlan, Lauffer implemented some lineup changes that proved beneficial. Hanna Luther was moved back to her more familiar defensive position alongside Brenna Baker. Both earned Hawkeye 10 honorable mention last year at those positions.
Forward McKenna Thatcher moved to midfield, switching Savannah Hartman up to forward. Itzayanna Rubio and Ryan Vazquez were strong at midfield positions, Lauffer said, with midfielder Michelle Powers quick to drop into defensive support as needed.
In the meantime, goalkeeper Sadie Jones made several hustling saves as the Panthers gave a competitive effort.
“Tonight our kids heard from their players, saying things like ‘you guys are a lot better than last year.’ It seemed like the girls gained confidence from competing so well against such a strong team,” Lauffer said.
Allie Fillman scored three goals for Valley.
Valley won the JV contest, 10-0. Taquana Williams had a shot on goal for the Panthers and Kim Alley had 12 keeper saves.
The Panthers host Carroll Kuemper Catholic Tuesday, with varsity at 5 p.m. and JV scheduled at 6:30.
NV/WCV/A-C 5, Creston 0
Creston (0) — Shots on goal — 3. Individual shots — Mackenzie Andreasen 2, Itzayanna Rubio 1. Keeper saves — Sadie Jones 21. Fouls — 4. Cards —None.
NV/WCV/A-C (5) — Alicia Urquhart (Hailey Gross assist), 9:08; Riley Carr, 44:38; Fillman (Urquhart assist), 54:13; Fillman, 60:57; Fillman, 74:08. Shots on goal — 20. Saves — C. Wagner, Hannah Link 3.