LAKEVILLE, IN. – At the beginning of the season, first-year LaVille girls soccer coach Daniel Pleninger was greeted with experience. An experienced squad that included seven seniors, and a group of Lancers that wanted to improve on a 9-3-4 record from a year ago.
Now, the Lancers find themselves hosting the 24th annual IHSAA girls soccer sectional October 3rd, 5th and 7th. All matches will be played at Newton Park. Admission to the sectional is $6 per session or $10 for a sectional pass.
LaVille will open sectional play against Rochester in the 7pm match Thursday Oct. 5.
“I don’t know a whole lot about Rochester or any of the other teams that we haven’t played in our Sectional. However, we have played common opponents and I have seen a little film on Rochester. I am more focused on what our team can do and executing our game, than what the other team can do.
LaVille finished the 2017 regular season at 13-3 overall and the #2-ranking in the final Indiana Soccer Coaches Association poll.
“This season has never been about wins and losses or regular season rankings,” said Pleninger. “However, I am proud of our 13-3 record and quality wins over Plymouth, South Bend Adams, Argos, and Blackhawk Christian. Our entire goal has been to improve every game and to be the best team that we can be every game.”
Seniors Lindsey Aschenbrenner and Aryn Eash echoed Coach Pleninger’s thoughts about the offense and defense.
“The defense has been a wall this season,” said Aschenbrenner. “We’ve only allowed 17 goals and that’s a very impressive number considering we play some good teams. They have been improving every game and are a vital part of our team.”
Eash said, “The defense is playing fantastic right now. Coach has us using them to build on our offense, so they are playing a vital role in both the defensive and the offensive end of the game.”
LaVille, winners of the Bremen Tournament, opened the season with a seven-match winning streak before a hard-fought 7-5 loss to Culver Academy.
“This first season definitely exceeded expectations,” explained Pleninger. “I knew that there was a lot of talent on this team, but the girls this season have blown me away with their work ethic and their eagerness to learn and improve.
“The girls have stayed focused all year and have made the most of every practice and as a result we have seen a lot of success during the games,” he continued. “There has not been a game this season where we did not have a chance to win in the final minutes. They continue to grow closer as a team and encourage each other to play their best every game.”
Leadership has been important so far this season, and will be just as important as the Lancer look to take one step at a time through the state tournament.
“The leadership on this team is outstanding,” concluded Aschenbrenner. “My fellow captains and I have been working really hard on and off the field to push our fellow teammates to maximize their potential, which has shown in our number two ranking in 1A.
“But the leadership isn’t just limited to us, every single player on the field is a leader in a different way and that is what makes us such a scary team. Leadership is really important going into sectionals because it will help us prepare mentally for one of the toughest games will we have to play.”
All goes back to what coach Pleninger said at the beginning of the season: “When this team comes together as a family, they are capable of incredible things”
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IHSAA Girls Soccer Sectional #35
Updated Match Schedule
- Tuesday October 3 – Bremen 10, Culver 1, final
- Tuesday October 3 – Argos 4, North Miami 0, final
- Thursday October 5 – Bremen (6-10) V. Argos (11-5-1) – 5pm
- Thursday October 5 – LaVille (13-3) v Rochester (8-7-1) – 7pm
- Saturday October 7 – Championship – 7pm
All matches will be played at Newton Park.