By Rick Lytle, Online Editor-in-Chief
The last four years, Prospect girls soccer has seen their season ended in their regional final game. On Tuesday, May 14, the team became one step closer to ending that streak when they took down the 11th seeded Carmel High School in the regional semifinal.
With the game locked up 0-0 at halftime, Prospect head coach Tom Froats wanted to see his team spread the field wider in the offensive third to create more chances in the second half. This turned out to be unnecessary, as senior Ashley Welk scored a screamer 25 yards from goal just ten minutes into the second half.
“That finish was ‘Grade A’ quality, and that was the difference in the game,” said 17 year head coach Froats. “The [goal]keeper had no chance.”
Finding that difference was a struggle for Prospect at the end of the conference season, but also gave them the experience that Froats believes they need in high stakes situations. The team went into double overtime with both Hersey and Buffalo Grove, and finished both of those games in a tie.
“That certainly prepared us for the sides were facing right now,” Froats said.
Prospect’s defensive key to the game was eliminating Carmel’s primary offensive threat, Zenaya Barnes. The team’s defensive goal was to limit her touches on the ball, and then limit her time and space to create a scoring opportunity once she had the ball. Froats believed she only had one or two real opportunities throughout the game, and was pleased with how his defense rose up to the challenge.
One of the team’s keys to the backline is senior Helen Siavelis, who is playing soccer at the California Institute of Technology in college.
“[She] has been tremendous over the last couple of years. I’ve been really pleased with her growth from when she came in to the program to where she is now,” Froats said.
The team will need that senior leadership as they face Fremd in the regional final, who they tied 0-0 in the regular season. The game is Friday, May 17 at Fremd High School for students who want to support the team.
“We have to play fearless. A lot of times when people are in these types of games they get worried about doing something wrong or making a mistake, but we can’t do that,” Froats said. “Also, we need to be courageous in the dangerous areas of the field. When we’re inside that box, you have to want to battle, and lay it all out on the line.”