Creston’s girls soccer team faced a daunting task Thursday on a nice sun-splashed evening at Panther Field.
Nodaway Valley/West Central Valley/Adair-Casey came in ranked 12th in the state in Class 1A. Off to a 2-0 start, Valley had outshot its opponents 64-6 while holding a 12-1 scoring advantage in the two victories.
This is a powerful, speedy team and for more than 40 minutes the underdog Panthers held their own.
Valley held a modest 2-0 lead at halftime, and it was still 3-0 with more than 10 minutes elapsed in the second half after an early reset boot by Hailey Gross.
Then, the Creston defense seemed to lose some energy around the 25-minute mark. Goalkeeper Sadie Jones, who finished with 11 saves against 17 Valley shots, caught many of the attempts, but in the end Valley just kept peppering with too much pressure and ended up with a 6-0 victory.
Valley improves to 3-0, while Creston falls to 0-3 overall.
“We got tired,” Creston coach Kim Lauffer said. “We’re working with quite a few JV kids to get in, because I’m impressed with what we are seeing, but if you take someone like Hanna Luther or Alyssa Higgins out of our defense, we lose a lot of speed and accuracy you need against a team like that.
“Still, to be able to compete like we did is exciting,” Lauffer added. “Now we have to step it up. We haven’t worked a lot on our offense yet because we spent the first few weeks pushing defense so much, to contain teams like this. I’m excited about the things we are doing well. There are little mistakes we can fix.”
Valley outshot the Panthers 24-4. While Jones was busy with 23 saves, Valley keeper Kassidy Baudler withstood much less pressure with three saves.
Jenna Hayes, Hanna Luther, Savannah Hartman and Angelica Claytor had shots for Creston.
Hailey Gross scored two goals for Valley, including the first one after neither defense had been dented for 17 minutes. Allie Doud’s goal with 12:40 left in the half made it 2-0 at intermission.
Gross, Madi Foster, Logan Jensen and Josi Ocheltree scored for Valley in the second half. Coach Mike Krawczyk inserted mass substitutions after the fifth goal.
“The girls did a great job tonight,” Krawczyk said. “The first half we took awhile to settle down, but when we did the girls crossed and passed a lot better. The second half we really controlled things. OUr defense did an outstanding job.”
The JV match ended in a 1-1 tie. Toni VanScoy scored for Creston on an assist by Bretta Shawler. Becca Ross was goalkeeper in a strong defensive effort.
Creston, 0-2 in Hawkeye 10 play, travels to Carroll Tuesday to take on Kuemper Catholic (2-0) before hosting Denison-Schleswig in a girl-boy doubleheader Thursday.
Valley 6, Creston 0
Creston (0) — Shots on goal — 4. Individual shots — Jenna Hayes 1, Hanna Luther 1, Savannah Hartman 1, Angelica Claytor 1. Keeper saves — Sadie Jones 11. Cards — None.
NV/WCV/A-C (6) — Hailey Gross (Logan Jensen assist), 23:24 first half; Allie Doud 12:40 first half; Hailey Gross 36:53 second half; Madi Foster 24:52 second half; Logan Jensen (Alicia Urquhart assist) 21:06 second half; Josi Ocheltree (Emily O’Brien assist) 10:27 second half. Shots on goal — 17. Saves — Kassidy Baudler 3.