LAKEVILLE, IN. – Call It Motivation!
The LaVille girl’s soccer senior class has been working for the sectional championship since their freshman year.
On Saturday Oct. 7, the #2-ranked Lancers won the 2017 LaVille Sectional title following a 4-1 victory over #12-rated Argos. It was the third girls soccer sectional trophy, and first since 2005. LVHS also won in 2004.
“This match was a repeat of my freshman year,” said Kamryn Gorka, one of four captains. “We were playing Argos for that sectional title and lost in a penalty kick shootout. Ever since to the senior class, we all have wanted to (beat) Argos.”
LaVille was coming off a 7-1 semifinal victory Thursday Oct. 5 against Rochester.
Playing rival Argos a second time wouldn’t be easy. It did, however, come with a little motivation.
“Argos has always been a huge rival for us,” said captain Aryn Eash. “They have been in our sectional for as long as all of us have been in high school, and they are always a very solid team. Beating a team twice in one season is always a challenge, but our team simply wanted it more than Argos did.”
Along the way, there’s been a lot of time spent and hard work put into LaVille Soccer. Heading into the state tournament was no different.
“We have always had that goal (of winning a sectional) and that has pushed us to put in a lot of work the past few summers,” said captain Lindsey Aschenbrenner. “Some of us even playing during the winter and spring time.
“The seniors knew that this year was our last year to make that dream happen and that motivated us to push ourselves and our teammates a lot during practices and matches this season all in preparation for sectionals.”
Things have come together for the Lancers so far this season, outscoring their opponent 93-19 and winning eight of their last 10 matches.
“This year our team has come closer together as a family,” said captain Madison Donahue. “I feel like the communication has really made us become something more than what we have been the past seasons. Also, I think our coach (Pleninger) has been a huge help in forming the team we are. He always sets us up for success and never gives up on us.”
The team credits first-year coach Daniel Pleninger with bringing in a different approach.
“All season coach has been talking about winning sectionals,” Eash said. “He has not cared whether we had a winning season or not, but of course our record was a nice addition to our sectional championship.
“He has been telling us that nobody can beat us except for ourselves, and we have proved him right throughout the season. We have stayed focused and we have kept our eyes on the prize, and because of that we accomplished our goal.”
Practices have been about preparation, focus and details.
“The big difference is the coaching staff,” said Aschenbrenner. “Our practices have been so much more focused and detailed, and coach Pleninger has put in a lot of time and effort preparing us for big games like this and we weren’t used to that.
“Another difference is having a lot more experience on the field than the past years,” continued Aschenbrenner. “Our starting line up consists of mainly juniors and seniors, which is really nice because we’ve played with each other long enough to be able to trust one another.”
According to Gorka, Pleninger has taught the team about, “learning to look at things differently during the season than we have the last three years. Passing short passes instead of long to always push the ball forward when you can switch the ball more and be patient because the goals will eventually come.”
Saturday, the Lancers not only had to face the Dragons, but a weather delay before earning the crown.
“The team has wanted this all year long,” said Donahue. “We weren’t worried about the weather. The weather actually made us want to beat Argos even more showing them that we can play in any type of weather or in any other circumstances.
“The seniors definitely didn’t want to give up this match since freshman year we fell to Argos in the championship game. We all knew that we could win the game if we just played “our” game and didn’t rush our passes or shots, also we took the space Argos gave us which allowed us to move up the field.”
The seniors not only understand one of many goals was met, but that there is still more work to do.
“Nobody really understands what it is like to be a senior and know that you are not guaranteed any more games after you lose in the tourney run until they are actually a senior,” concluded Eash. “We have seven seniors on the team this year, and none of us are ready to be done with a sport that we have spent the majority of our lives on. I would say that made all the difference in the world (last) week. We were not ready to give up and be done with this sport. We will continue to fight until that final whistle blows, and we will do our very best to represent LaVille and our community along the way.”
This is just a little bit more motivation for the Lancers.
* * *
CLASS 1A LAVILLE GIRLS SOCCER REGIONAL
Saturday Oct. 14
At Newton Park
10 AM – #1 Wheeler (18-0) v. #2 LaVille (15-3)
NOON – Westview (9-9-1) v. Boone Grove (16-2-1)
7 PM – Match #1 Winner v. Match #2 Winner
*Winner advances to Kokomo -OR- South Bend St. Joseph Semi State, Saturday Oct. 21.
*Semi State Start Time To Be Announced