For 20 minutes, the Creston girls soccer team was hanging in there with Class 2A No. 14 Winterset.
The shots were still heavily in favor of the Huskies, but Creston was playing with energy, keeping the game competitive.
Then, the floodgates opened, as Winterset pulled away to a 9-0 victory.
Winterset sophomore Bailey Jackson broke the scoreless tie with 18:41 remaining in the first half, and senior Jazlin Sprague made it 2-0 with 12:23 left in the first half.
Just 23 seconds later, Mekenna Lauer made it 3-0, which held as the score when the first half ended.
“The first 20 minutes, I felt like we were competing pretty well with Winterset,” Creston head coach Kim Lauffer said. “They hadn’t scored. We came out with a lot of energy, communicated well. We were aware of our surroundings, knew where the other players were. We improved a lot from the last game in the first 20 minutes.”
But once things started clicking for Winterset, it became difficult for the Panthers to stop the Huskies.
Winterset held a 62-5 advantage in shots, with 53 of those shots being on goal.
“Part of it was they just started playing better,” Lauffer said. “I don’t know if it just took them 20 minutes to warm up, but they started playing a little better. All of a sudden, their passes were connecting better. We were not winning 50/50s.
“It seemed like we were tired. We’d worked hard for the first 20 minutes.”
Winterset found the back of the net six more times in the second half, including three more goals by Lauer and two by Rylee Mapes.
Sadie Jones, one of four seniors honored in a pregame ceremony for senior night, played goalie for the Panthers, finishing the night with 42 saves, several of which were on hard shots from point blank range.
“That’s her bread and butter,” Lauffer said about Jones playing goal. “That’s where she wants to be and that’s what she loves to play. We gave Becca Ross a lot of time in the goal so that she could improve, so when Sadie is gone, we have someone to fill her shoes. She’s done well, but it was good to see Sadie back in goal. That’s where her energy is. She’s an excellent goalie.”
Another senior, Ryan Vasquez led the Panthers with two shots, both on goal.
Other seniors honored prior to the game were Itzayanna Rubio and Michelle Powers.
Seniors from the golf and tennis teams were also recognized with their parents in the pre-game ceremony.
“All four of them have been with the program for four years,” Lauffer said. “I didn’t coach them their freshman year. It’s been exciting to watch them mature as they’ve played soccer and gotten better. And not just in soccer, but to see the personalities they’ve developed and the young women they’ve come to be.”
Creston fell to 1-13 for the season, while Winterset improved to 10-3. The Panthers return to action Tuesday at Carlisle in the regular season finale.
Creston lost the junior varsity game by a score of 2-0.
Winterset finished with 16 shots, including 10 on goal, while Creston recorded two shots, both on goal.
Becca Ross collected 13 saves for the Panthers and Livi Hartman finished with two.
Winterset 9, Creston 0
Creston (0) — Shots (on goal) — 5 (5 on goal). Individual shots (on goal)— Savannah Hartman 1 (1 on goal), Angelica Claytor 1 (1 on goal), Ryan Vasquez 2 (2 on goal), Micah McCutchan 1 (1 on goal). Keeper saves — Sadie Jones 42.
Winterset (9) — Bailey Jackson goal, 18:41 first half; Jazlin Sprague goal, 12:23 first half; Mekenna Lauer goal, 12:00 first half; Lauer goal, 34:53 second half; Kelsey Gerwig goal, 32:48 second half; Lauer goal, 16:23 second half; Lauer goal, 14:26 second half; Rylee Mapes goal, 8:53 second half; Mapes goal, 5:39 second half. Shots (on goal) — 53. Saves — 5.