Despite no longer being conference rivals, the Tippecanoe Valley and Manchester girls soccer teams took the time to match up on Monday evening in Akron. The Lady Squires put together one of their best performances of the season, winning 7-0.
From the game’s opening kick, it was clear the Lady Squires were here to take care of business. The visitors pushed the pace from the jump, working hard to win the contested balls, making some outstanding tackles to win back possession and sending a wide variety of deep balls down to strikers to make a play on.
The quick pace didn’t always benefit Manchester though. One more than a couple of occasions early on, it looked as if the Lady Squires had a wide open scoring chance after a deep pass. However, each time, the offside flag went up, stopping play and forcing the visitors to regroup.
Despite the fast start for Manchester, it would be Tippecanoe Valley that would have the first big chance of the game. After an outstanding run and cross, the ball found itself at the right boot of Valley’s leading scorer Juli Ruiz. Ruiz was able to get a shot on goal, but perhaps not the one she was looking for, as the ball was saved by Manchester keeper Grace Smith.
Tippecanoe Valley freshman Juli Ruiz heads the ball as Manchester senior Gabby Simmers ends up with a fist to the chops. Photo by Gary Nieter
Not long after, just ten minutes into the match, the Lady Squires would finally get onto the scoreboard. The midfield was able to time the volley perfectly, giving Brookelynn Buzzard nothing but open field ahead of her. She’d convert on her strike and put her team on top.
This opened the floodgates, as just three minutes later, Buzzard would add a second. Just a few minutes after that, Aymia Miller made a tremendous play on the ball, playing it off of her head and to herself to create a run of her own. Her shot on goal would be stopped, but Ava Sautter was there to clean up the mess and tap in the rebound.
At the 22 minute mark, the Lady Squires would make it 4-0 on a goal by Campbell Bolinger. That would be the extent of scoring in the first 40 minutes, as following this goal, the Lady Vikings would switch up formation. Valley would emphasize putting more players back on defense to prevent the long runs that had been killing them thus far.
Five minutes into the second half, Manchester was able to add onto its lead once again. A perfect corner kick by Bolinger would put the ball right at the feet of Hannah Eberly in the middle of the box. Eberly would do the rest, tapping it in for an easy score.
Hannah wasn’t the only Eberly to get onto the scoreboard. At the 20 minute mark, Joanna Eberly would take a long shot and was aided by a deflection that sent the ball into the back of the net. A few minutes later, London Spangle would break free and add onto the lead with another goal, the final of the game.
The Lady Vikings were almost able to get one back after a mad scramble in front of the Manchester goal. The threat was neutralized by a save by Smith.
Both teams play their next game against Rochester. Tippecanoe Valley (1-5) faces off with the Zebras at home on Wednesday while Manchester (7-4) returns home for a Monday game.