LAKEVILLE, IN. – Taking the next step in the state tournament means more focus and unfamiliar opposition. Following the first girl’s soccer sectional title last weekend, the LaVille Lancers prepare for new teams – Wheeler, Westview, Boone Grove – in Saturday’s IHSAA Girls Soccer Regional.
Saturday’s 10am opener at Newton Park, #1-ranked Wheeler takes on the host Lancers. The second semifinal match pits Westville against Boone Grove.
Survivors return for the 7 p.m. championship match.
This is the first regional appearance for LaVille since 2005.
First-year coach Daniel Pleninger says, “They (Wheeler) run a traditional 4-3-3 and look to send through balls to the corners where they can capitalize off a cross. All of their players are strong on the ball and do not turn the ball over easily. They also create a pressure on the other team in the midfield and when they lose the ball they are quick to win it back or force the other team into a mistake. Lyric Green is the heart of the team but did not realize exactly how much they rely on her. They are very technical team and like to take a lot of long-range shots. They may be weak to through balls after switching the field of play.”
Practices this week have been focusing on physical, as well as mental preparation.
“Preparation this week has been focused on practicing perfect,” said senior captain Lindsey Aschenbrenner. “We all know Wheeler will not be an easy match and we are preparing for another tough battle. However we aren’t just preparing physically. Coach is preparing us mentally as well, reminding us the history that we will have the opportunity to make on Saturday.”
The Lancers have never won girls soccer regional, but understand the continuation of a state tournament run goes through the top-ranked team first.
“Facing the #1 team in the state honestly takes some of the pressure off of us. All of the pressure is on them,” said senior captain Aryn Eash. “So we just have to relax and play our game. All the eyes will be on them, so we have the advantage in this game.
“This week has included focusing especially on details,” continued Eash. ” We know Wheeler will capitalize on our mistakes, so we must not make mistakes.
The Class 1A, No.1-ranked Wheeler Bearcats have outscored opponents 124-10, including just one goal in the last five matches.
“Wheeler is a good team and deserves the #1 rank they’ve earned,” said Aschenbrenner. “However in tournament play anything can happen. I think that knowing we play the #1 ranked team in 1A is just pushing us to work harder and harder during practice in order to further prove ourselves. Saturday’s match against them will be a fight, but it won’t be anything we can’t handle.”
LaVille players are also grateful to be the host school for the Class 1A Girls Soccer Regional.
“I think it will be helpful to us because it is our home field and we are very grateful that we have great fields provided for us and other teams,” said senior captain Madison Donahue.
“I know we can win this if we just stick as one family and we keep everything positive.”
The Lancers may be an underdog to Wheeler, but are ready to give it their all.
“We all are starting to get in focus and giving 110% at each and every practice and moving forward everyday and improving,” said senior captain Kamryn Gorka. “And understanding that this win isn’t just going to be given to us. We need to go out there, give it everything, and show all the other school’s that think they are coming in this tournament to win that they are wrong.”
Admission will be $7 per session or $10 both sessions.
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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
REGIONAL TITLES WON
Boone Grove – 0
LaVille – 0
Westview – 3 (2004 ,2014, 2016)
Wheeler – 2 (2013, 2014)