Lady Gators, Lady Purples set for another District 14 championship meeting
BOWLING GREEN — When postseason soccer comes around the corner, the most important game is the one ahead on the schedule.
The next important one for Bowling Green and Greenwood girls soccer will come against one another on Thursday.
Bowling Green and Greenwood punched their tickets on Tuesday night to the District 14 championship game. The Lady Purples knocked off Warren Central 6-0, while the Lady Gators put away South Warren 9-0.
“The first game of the district is the most important because you have to win to move on,” Bowling Green coach Lisa Correa said. “It feels good to get the win and get that behind us. I thought the team came out really strong.”
Strong is right.
Caroline Buchanan scored within the first 10 minutes, giving Bowling Green an early 1-0 lead before the Lady Purples went on to score three more before the break.
Whitaker Buchanan continued the offensive attack with her second goal of the evening, minutes after halftime. That score was her 38th of the season.
“We executed very well tonight, knocked the ball around and finished chances. We created a lot of chances and I’m just happy with the way we moved the ball around tonight.”
In the tournament’s first match of the night, Greenwood was a mission to put its name in the district title game and the Lady Gators didn’t disappoint.
Greenwood came up one goal short of hitting double-digits for the third time this season. Two of the nine scores came from the feet of Amaya Salvador and Katarina Popovic, who were just called up from the junior varsity season just over seven days ago.
“It was really important for us to be very business like about it,” Greenwood coach Zach Salchli said. “The first 10 minutes we wanted to come out and really set the tone … We were able to rotate some girls and get a lot of good looks. We called (Salvador and Popovic) up a week ago, so it was cool for them to step up and get that moment on the big stage.”
Anna Haddock scored the game’s first three goals, which put her season total at 39. Eight minutes after the halftime break Haddock recorded her 40th goal, nearly putting the game out of hand for a South Warren comeback.
With South Warren in the rearview mirror, the Lady Gators have their focus on Bowling Green.
“It’s a building game,” said Greenwood senior Liz Carter when asked about the win over South Warren. “It’s something not taken as importantly because you go to region. It’s used for building and we take it as it is to work kinks out and stuff.”
The Spartans showed a lot of promise on 2018, despite being a young team that is continuing to grow. The growth was evident when South Warren won four of its first five games to begin the year. The Spartans concluded their season against Greenwood with a 9-8 record.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” South Warren coach Andrew Hutto said. “We threw a young group into the fire and there were times even in this game where we held out for a few minutes but with the talent in our district, it just wasn’t enough. They played remarkable in a tough situation.”