BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS — The Argos girls soccer team gathered in the school library on Sept. 25 for the IHSAA draw, and as they were scarfing down the pizza and chips and garlic bread that coach Joe Stone had provided for them, they saw their school name matched up with Trinity Greenlawn for a Class 1A, Sectional 35 quarterfinal.
Trinity Greenlawn is ranked No. 13, but the Lady Titans were just whom they wanted.
No. 17 Argos had lost 2-1 to Trinity Greenlawn back on Aug. 25, and they were eager to prove that they were better than that result.
“The kids jumped in the air,” Stone said. “They wanted them.”
They showed why they were so eager Tuesday, avenging the earlier loss with a 3-0 win that evened their record at 6-6-3 and, perhaps more importantly, kept their chances alive at a fifth consecutive sectional title.
Bella Stults, Lauren McGlothin and Emma Dunlap scored for Argos, and the defense limited Trinity Greenlawn (11-5) to two shots on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Alydia Leed stopped both for a shutout in her first career postseason game.
“The difference when we played them the first time this year, we got upset here 2-1,” Stone said. “Their (first) touch was very good because we were very complacent. We just sat there and let them do what they wanted. I said, ‘No, we’ve got to have high pressure. We’ve got to be all over them. Do what they did to us, and you’ll be fine.’ As I told the girls over here after the game, it’s the first game all year we played all 80 minutes. Well done, ladies. So I was very happy.”
Stults scored with 25:52 left in the first half, racing to a loose ball and beating Trinity Greenlawn freshman goalkeeper Charis Balsbaugh and slipping a shot into the empty net to make it 1-0.
“For the last three weeks, we’ve done nothing but crash drills and everything, and tonight it paid off,” Stone said. “We always just keep telling them, ‘Crash, crash, crash everything. I don’t care if the keeper is standing there looking like she’s going to catch it easy. You crash it.’”
McGlothin drilled a direct kick from almost 40 yards out and deflected off Balsbaugh’s hands and went into the back of the net with 15:34 left in the half.
“I kind of just kick it and hope it goes in,” McGlothin said. “I just try and kick it on frame. And as soon as I kicked it, my teammates were like, ‘It’s on, it’s on, it’s going in.’ And it was just so exciting.”
McGlothin also plays sweeper on Argos’ defense. Hang back a little bit and any ball that goes past, that’s her ball, she said.
“She protects that back line,” Stone said. “She reads the play so well. She does a really good job.”
“We were ecstatic,” McGlothin said. “We were so happy. We were hoping that we would get them. I would say that it was because it was towards the beginning of the season. We just had a rough game, I would say. So we just wanted to come back with the intensity that we had during our last game with Bethany Christian as well and give it to them again.”
Dunlap’s goal came off an Aryanna Allen assist with 22:58 left in the game, turning around and finishing after a quick throw in.
“I pretty much got across the ball, and I one-touched it,” Dunlap said. “I don’t usually do that. But I did and it worked, so I guess I’ll start doing that more.”
Dunlap, a senior, said the season has been “pretty rough.” But she also relished the rematch that the draw created. She said Argos was well-suited to face Trinity Greenlawn’s speedy junior star Maggie Karban.
“We have a really fast defense, which is really good for us,” Dunlap said. “They can stop people like that, so it’s kind of hard to play long ball against us because we have such fast defenders. It’s really good.”