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  • Val T.

Hines scores twice, helps Argos capture 5th straight sectional title

Lady Dragons beat LaVille in sectional final for 4th straight year; Bethany Christian next


Sports Editor, RTC

ARGOS — Argos junior Lilly Hines does not usually shoot her penalty kicks to the left. She usually goes right.

But what matters more to Hines than where she aims her PKs is winning. LaVille goalkeeper Heaylyn Kwiatkowski might have gotten in the way of her penalty kicks, but at Argos, nothing gets in the way of winning during sectionals week.

Argos won their fifth straight sectional title with a 2-0 win in the Class 1A, Sectional 35 final Saturday.

Hines scored both goals. The PK came with 15:00 left. She later added a sidewinding two-hopper that beat Kwiatkowski to her right and found the back of the net with 6:20 to go.

Argos improved to 8-6-3 and will travel to Bethany Christian for a regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. If Argos wins, they will travel to Westview to play Andrean or Kouts in the regional final next Saturday.

“It feels really good,” senior Kadyn Baughman said. “I’m very excited to go to regionals.”

Said Aryanna Allen: “It feels good. I’m excited for what’s next.”

To get to this point, the players set aside any drama that might have been going on earlier and gained a greater bond.

“We’ve had the usual little problems here and there between girls,” Argos coach Joe Stone said. “But in the end, those girls pretty much put all their problems aside and just started playing soccer again. It’s about the last five games.

“They decided to put their differences aside and just play soccer, which is what all coaches want. It’s a dream.”

LaVille finished 6-8-4. They lost to Argos for the fourth straight year in the sectional final and for the fifth straight year in the sectional.

LaVille packed the box and made it hard to get inside the 18. It was not unlike Bremen’s strategy two days earlier in a game that Argos won in overtime.

“LaVille, they packed the box, like Bremen did,” Stone said. “They play a lot more defensive and look for a counter. And just today, we were much more patient with the ball. We didn’t rush our shots. We didn’t overcommit on anything. … They controlled the game, the whole game, from the kickoff to the end. We controlled it.”

Hines’ penalty kick opportunity arose when teammate Bella Stults was knocked down in the box. Stults was removed from the game briefly for a concussion check, and she soon re-entered. That gave Hines time to size up her penalty kick.

Kwiatkowski was standing to Hines’ right, so she changed plans.

“I always shoot to the right side, and the keeper was standing in my spot,” Hines said. “I was freaking out, but I just switched sides and put it in the net. … I just switched it up.”

Said Stone: “We’ve played this keeper twice now, and both times we’ve played them, Lilly’s gotten a PK, and she’s fed that corner, so this time, she decided all on her own, and I hate when you go away from what you are used to, but you know, she’s a great goal scorer, and I let her make that decision, and she buried it perfectly. So I was very happy for her.”

Hines smiled recalling her second goal, which included an Emma Dunlap assist.

“It was just like a no-look shot because it was a weird bounce, but it went in so…,” Hines said.

As for Bethany Christian, they beat Argos 1-0 in the regular season finale on Oct. 1. The only goal was an own goal, and the own goal was Bethany Christian’s only shot on goal.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Stone said. “A little payback. We have to come out and do the same thing we did to them the first time.”

Hines used the word “revenge” when talking about playing Bethany Christian again. She also said this sectional was more satisfying because the team had been “inconsistent” throughout the year.

“I think we played more consistent,” Hines said of the week before she started chuckling. “I really don’t know how … but we pulled it together.”

Kadyn Baughman

Baughman identifies as a defender even though she plays further up the field than perhaps a typical defender does.

“I’m center defensive, so I’m a stopper,” Baughman said. “I like to stay up, so it applies pressure to the middle when our midfield goes up. So we’re always pushed up because the sideline defenders are supposed to stay with me, so we can have more offsides calls and apply pressure higher up on the field.”

That means Baughman is hearing the voices of Lauren McGlothin and Alydia Leed from behind her. McGlothin is the senior sweeper, and Leed is the sophomore goalkeeper.

Games like the LaVille game are nothing new for veteran groups like Argos’.

“I don’t think it was as stressful as previous games,” Baughman said. “Obviously, it was stressful because we are a second-half team. But we’ve been in more stressful positions before.”

Baughman’s older sister Parker is a junior on the women’s soccer team at Bethel University.

“She’s pretty inspiring,” Baughman said. “She’s very much a go-getter. She wants good for herself.”

Aryanna Allen

Allen is part of a group of seniors that won sectionals in all four years.

“It for sure was,” Allen said when told that Hines said the season had been “inconsistent.” “Last year, in regional, we lost to Westview, and then we ended up coming back this season and beating them. So I feel like against the better teams, we play better, but when the teams aren’t as good, then we play down. But we definitely have the ability to play at a high level.”

Allen said she has become more appreciative over time.

“My freshman year, I wasn’t as grateful because I didn’t really know,” Allen said. “I didn’t understand what it meant. It was just, oh, another game we won. But as the years went on, it definitely is a bigger deal than I thought it was. Because from here out, there are only four games left, and that will be it, so it’s just a big deal overall.”

Allen said that the team was excited to draw No. 13 Trinity Greenlawn in the quarterfinals, and they eventually blanked the Lady Titans, a team to whom they had lost during the regular season. But she said the “turning point” might have been a 6-0 win over Bremen the day before the draw came out.

She said the team has gotten better at moving the ball through the middle of the field. She said the team had struggled at that since the graduation of Hannah Trump after last year’s run to the regional semifinals.

“I feel like our practices have gotten a lot better though,” Allen said. “I don’t know. I feel like everyone has put in a lot more effort because they want to go far in this playoffs.”

The Argos girls soccer team won the Class 1A, Sectional 35 title with a 2-0 win over LaVille Saturday afternoon at Argos’ Eugene Snyder Field. Argos will travel to Bethany Christian for a regional semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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