Woodson's clutch pass to Smalley leads Indians kickers to WIAA regional title
Only second regional crown in school history
Menomonee Falls - About eight seconds. Arguably, that's what separated two even teams on Saturday in the WIAA Division 1 soccer playoffs at Arrowhead High School.
Visiting Menomonee Falls found the goal in the first overtime, walking away with a hard-fought, 1-0, decision in the second round of the playoff ladder. At the 89:52 mark, Indians senior midfielder/forward Jenna Woodson raced down the sidelines carrying the ball into the attacking third on the left side of the field. After getting closer to the end line, she crossed the ball into the box, where countless bodies were converging in front of Arrowhead junior goalie Michela Ongaro. Indians sophomore midfielder Anna Smalley was first to the ball and tucked it into the net.
"We came out and played with tons of heart today," veteran Menomonee Falls head girls soccer coach Scott Stein said. "Jenna Woodson showed why she's the Player of the Year in the (Greater Metro) conference. Arrowhead plays a 3-5-2, so it was tough going through the middle. We kept trying to get wide and take our chances, and in overtime we finally came through."
Arrowhead's best chance to score in overtime came in the 86th minute on a free kick from 40 yards out. Senior Kyle Davis tried to run on to it just outside the 18-yard box. She was unable to get much on the attempt and it sailed wide and over the top of Indians sophomore junior goalie Monica Carlson.
In the first half, the Warhawks built some scoring chances with the wind but the Indians defense, led by Carlson, held its ground.
Opie had a free kick after a hand ball was called against the Indians from 20 yards out in the 49th minute, forcing Stein to build the temporary wall with Woodson, sophomore forward Rachel Clayton, sophomore midfielder Jen Eberhardy and freshman midfielder Jessi Barczak. Opie's attempt sailed out of harm's way.
Early in the match, Arrowhead was whistled for a hand ball in the box, but Woodson's attempt on the penalty kick got away.
This just wasn't the Warhawks' day against the steady Indians, who set a school record for wins with 17 and qualified for their second-ever trip to the WIAA Division 1 sectional, where they will play at Grafton (17-6-2) in a 7 p.m. Thursday semifinal. If the Indians advance, they play in the sectional final at Germantown at 7 p.m. Saturday. Top-ranked Cedarburg plays Whitefish Bay in the other semifinal of what is the deepest and most talent-laden sectional in the state.
"We knew what we were getting into with the Falls, and the season results don't mean anything once you get here," Arrowhead soccer coach Scott Asher said. "Today we got into a little bit of a kickball mode, which isn't us."
"We thought about what we could be a few weeks ago even with all our injuries," Stein said, "and I think we've exceeded expectations. We have another week and I expect we'll play with a lot of heart."
Menomonee Falls 3, Nicolet 0
The Indians defeated Nicolet in the first round of the tournament on May 31, 3-0. Junior forward Leanne Hawk, sophomore forward Rachel Clayton and Eberhardy scored. Eberhardy, senior forward/midfielder Nelly Botticelli and Hawk had assists.
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