On Wednesday, Nov. 20, the Wellington High School girls soccer team hosted Park Vista High School in a much-anticipated matchup. The Wolverines shut out the Cobras 2-0.
The victory came amid an intense motivation to avenge last season’s playoff loss to the Cobras. “Last year, they knocked us out,” explained first year head coach Erica Jones, who was an assistant coach last year. “It was a devastating blow. So, from day one, we had Park Vista right in the front of our minds. It was a big win for us emotionally and mentally.”
Wellington (2-2-1) found itself in a tough battle for control, mostly in midfield against the Cobras for most of the first half. Neither goalkeeper was challenged much during any offensive push into the attacking third. Just before the whistle to end the first half, the Wolverines made a strong push to the Park Vista net. The attack came from the outside, with the ball being delivered across the front of the frame. Senior striker Haley Jenkins met the ball on the backside of the box and drove it underneath the Park Vista keeper into the side of the net to take a 1-0 lead at the half.
Moments into the second half, Wellington struck again. This time, senior Michelle Sullivan launched a ball from about 17 yards out into the upper left 90 to extend the Wolverine lead to 2-0. From there, Wellington relied on ball control and defense to ride out the balance of the match. After the second goal, the Wolverines seemed to dominate for the next 15 minutes, pressuring the Cobra defense, creating solid chances to put the game out of reach.
On the back end of the second half, Park Vista did manage to control the ball better, which forced Wellington to increase defensive play. Wellington goalkeeper Lindsay Schindler denied four solid Park Vista shots on goal late in the match to preserve the shutout.
“Lindsay came up big,” Jones said. “She got full body on it and wrapped it up. I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Wellington regained some momentum in the final minutes of play and kept the ball deep in Cobra real estate to control the tempo and the clock to secure the 2-0 win.
“The difference was the intensity,” Jones said. “Everybody from the goalie up to the forwards, all the way to the bench, everyone was focused. We played simple and played the game we know how to play, and we brought it.”
Jenkins and Sullivan were each credited with a goal in the 2-0 victory.