The Dover girls soccer team defeated West Holmes 1-0 Saturday to win a district championship. Next up is a regional semifinal clash with New Philadelphia.
Here is Dover Coach James Kline’s wrap-up of Saturday’s game.
Final Score: 1 (Dover) to 0 (West Holmes)
Location: Berlin Hiland
Kickoff: 11:00 AM
This past Saturday, the Dover Tornadoes had a rematch with the West Holmes Knights for the District Finals. During the regular season, we played West Holmes at West Holmes and lost 4-3.
Going into the game the nerves were definitely there. You could tell that the girls were in a different mental space. The bus ride had a different feel to it. These girls have been doubted all year long after going 1 and 14 last year. They used that as motivation too. However, we talked before the game started that we needed clear our minds, handle the moment mentally, and not allow it to be too big for us. Well, you could tell that the girls were ready for this moment and it was not too big for them. The first half was back and forth and the game started getting physical early. Bodies were hitting the turf every other minute it seemed. Neither team wanted to give an inch and the level of play was sharp on both sides. In the first half, we had our chances and even gave up a few good ones too, but no one could find the back of the net.
Going into the half 0-0 was fine with us. We felt like we were wearing West Holmes down and one luxury we feel we have that other teams don’t is our depth. We are blessed and comfortable with putting 1-22 onto the field and the level of our play does not drop dramatically. The second half was very similar to the first with chances being earned, but both defenses kept holding strong. Then, with six minutes and twenty-two seconds left in the half, Annie Wright won the ball and redirected it out of the air off a goal kick that put Alyssa Feller through their defense. Alyssa did what she has done a lot of during the playoffs and made the most of her opportunities by putting a shot under the Knight’s keeper’s hands for the first goal of the game. The next six minutes seemed like a blur and seemed like an eternity but we were able to weather the relentless pressure West Holmes was putting on us to bring home the District Title.
As I told the girls after the game, I could not be happier or prouder of them. They have put so much work in this off-season and season to deserve the opportunity to play for the district title. However, deserving something doesn’t mean anything to your opponent. They had to go out and earn it and it was great to see them do that.
Now, we have earned the opportunity to right another loss this season with the third matchup this year against our crosstown rival the New Philadelphia Quakers. We split the two matchups and now we both have the chance to show one another who the better team is this year in the Regional-Semi Finals on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM in Cambridge. We know it will be a tough matchup, but I know the girls will be ready for it.
The win brings out record to 13-5-2 and gave us our 10th shutout of the season.