By Sam Jack
The Eisenhower Tigers girls soccer team competed in the Class 5A State soccer tournament over the weekend. After losing 4-0 to Mill Valley in the opening round on May 27, the Tigers found themselves in a third-place game versus Maize South. They won that match 1-0.
“Only two teams in the whole state get to end the year on a win, so to go out on a win is really good for the seniors,” Tigers head coach Roger Downing said.
This was the Tigers’ first trip to State, and first third-place trophy, in program history. The team finishes the season with a 17-2-1 record.
Versus the 17-2-0 Mill Valley High School, the Tigers came out with some nerves.
“We had a chance to score about 15 to 18 minutes in, where it hit the post and then we missed the follow-up,” Downing said. “They came down and scored about five minutes later. I think if we score that first goal, it’s a different game.”
It was still 1-0 at the start of the second half, but Mill Valley scored a second goal after about five minutes. Then the Tigers felt that they had to press and play with more risk in order to have a chance of catching up.
“They’re a really good team,” Downing said of Mill Valley. “They’re big, strong and fast, and they played really well against us.”
The third-place game was a rematch after the Tigers tied Maize South, 1-1, during a previous meeting on April 5. The winning goal was scored by Madelynn Guerra, with an assist from Brianna Henning, a couple of minutes before the half.
“Playing that third-place game after losing on Friday, it takes a lot to get up for that game after you just got your heart broken,” Downing said. “Usually who wants to still be there and compete and have a desire to play comes out and wins that third-place game. It was hot, and our girls pushed through it.”
Downing highlighted freshman Hannah Bedore’s performance in goal.
“She was great all weekend. She’s not even an actual keeper, and she was fantastic for us,” he said.