BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
LAKEVILLE –- The Argos girls soccer team that didn’t get to spend a lot of time with each other this summer due to the coronavirus is a thing of the past.
So is the team that had a record of 3-4 after seven games.
The streak started with a road win at Eastbrook Sept. 12, and they haven’t stopped winning since.
A brew of teamwork, chemistry, instincts, passion and talent, things are all good now, and LaVille found out how good in the Class 1A, Sectional 35 final at Newton Park Saturday.
The Lady Dragons won 4-1 to win their third consecutive sectional title and the 11th in program history.
Hannah Trump scored twice, and Lilly Hines had a goal and an assist for No. 6 Argos (13-4). Aryanna Allen also had a goal.
“It feels good,” Allen said. “I’ve been wanting to win. I want to make it really far this year.”
Said Trump: “It feels great. I’m ready for regionals.”
Said Hines: “Pretty good. As a freshman, it’s nice.”
Kylie Gorka scored the game’s first goal for LaVille, who finished 7-9. Argos also beat LaVille 4-1 in their regular season meeting on Sept. 17. In both games, Argos won even though LaVille scored first.
“A lot of people don’t give their defense credit enough,” Argos coach Joe Stone said. “Yes, we gave up a silly goal. … For a sectional final, that’s darn good. I’ll take that any day. Even if we give up one. Because nobody’s going to hold us to just one goal in our division 1A. We got held to one goal by Warsaw and one goal by the (Culver) Academy – both of them 2A and 3A teams and very good teams.”
Argos will head back to Newton Park for a regional semifinal game against No. 16 Covenant Christian at 10 a.m. this Saturday. No. 9 Andrean will meet No. 19 Bethany Christian in the second semifinal at approximately noon, and the winners return at 7 p.m. for the regional final.
LaVille had only one more shot on goal after Gorka’s goal, but Alyssa Poisel handled MaKenna Tribbey’s shot with 20:30 left in the game. By then, Argos led 3-1.
Lauren McGlothin was a key defender, constantly clearing the area before LaVille could mount any threats.
“Lauren was absolutely outstanding today,” Stone said. “She controlled the back. She controlled everything. Her mouth never shut up, which is what I want out of a sweeper, baby. I love a sweeper.”
LaVille led 1-0 when Trump scored the equalizer with 18:31 left in the first half. She pounced on a rebound of a Madi VanDerWeele direct kick that LaVille goalkeeper Heaylyn Kwiatkowski saved and scored on a rebound.
“It was a really nice ball by Madi, and I was able to just be there and tap it in,” Trump said. “It was a really nice give-and-go. … I’m pretty confident in our ability. The only thing that I would be nervous about is we tend to get down on ourselves when someone else scores first, but we were able to rise above.”
Hines put Argos ahead for good with 4:03 left in the half. She stole a clearing pass attempt, dribbled in, read Kwiatkowski’s body language and finished with a bullet of a shot to the top part of the net. It was her team-leading 14th goal of the year.
“I crashed the pass, and I just waited for the keeper to make which way she was going to go, and then I put it in,” Hines said. “She was going opposite post, so I just hit it in the opposite corner.”
Allen’s goal made it 3-1 with 36:09 left in the game. Madisyn Barcus dribbled in from the right flank and sent a crossing pass to Hines on the left. Hines then dished to Allen, who buried a finish.
Trump’s goal off a Hines through ball assist in the final minute was the icing on the cake.
Hines said the team wanted to win for Sydney Shepherd. The senior co-captain missed the sectional with an illness.
“We’ve missed her,” Hines said. “She’s been really upset that she couldn’t be here, so we were winning it for her.”
The Argos girls soccer team celebrates with the sectional trophy following a 4-1 win over LaVille in the Class 1A, Sectional 35 final at Newton Park in Lakeville Saturday. That’s goalkeeper Alyssa Poisel holding the game ball and Madi VanDerWeele holding the trophy. Argos (13-4) will play Covenant Christian (DeMotte) at 10 a.m. this Saturday in a regional semifinal. The regional final is set for 7 p.m.