Soccer (Girls V)
Red Devils are Here to Stay
By Annie Dooley | Oct 12, 2023 4:59 PM
By Annie Dooley
Photos by David Kovich
After 94 scoreless minutes, it would take penalties for West Lafayette to advance to Saturday’s regional final.
Despite controlling possession for the better part of regulation, West Lafayette was unable to capitalize on chances. The Red Devils put pressure on the Wildcat keeper and earned corner kick after corner kick. In the 27th minute, West Lafayette thought they had broken through, but a handball was called and played continued knotted at zero.
Early in the second half, West Lafayette again thought that they had found the back of the net, but the linesman ruled that the ball wasn’t fully across the line and again play continued.
After a scoreless overtime period, West Lafayette and Hanover Central stepped into the box for penalty kicks to decide it all. The first kick for Hanover Central hit the cross bar and was no good. Senior goalkeeper Adrianne Tolen stepped to the spot first for West Lafayette and confidently buried the shot. “I had confidence that I was going to make it and trusted my team behind me. I knew they’d have my back no matter what,” recounts Tolen.
The second shot for Hanover Central was good, but senior Lauren Pedley stepped up to the spot with confidence and banged the ball in off of the post. “I had to step up for my team when I was needed,” says Pedley who played all 94 minutes and created several goal scoring opportunities.
Hanover Central’s third shot was good, but again West Side had the answer. Senior Sarah Werth rose to the occasion and put the Red Devils up 3-2. Werth reflected, “It was a hard 94 minutes, but we persevered and we were ready for any moment that presented itself. ”
After Hanover Central’s fourth shot sailed over the crossbar, it all came down to senior Dani Rawles who stepped up with confidence and buried the shot to end it. “When I saw my teammates running out to me I just felt pure joy and excitement,” Rawles beamed.
For the Red Devils it was a game of grit and determination. With several players asked to step into unfamiliar roles, the cohesion of the group again proved itself on the pitch.
West Lafayette advances to their fourth straight regional final where they will face familiar foe Mishawaka Marian.