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Eagles boot Tigers

NEW MIDDLETOWN — The sixth-seeded United girls soccer team traveled to New Middletown and upset the top-seeded and previously-unbeaten Springfield Tigers, 2-0, in a Division III district semifinal Monday.

“Springfield is always a solid team and great competition,” United coach Sarah Hodgson said. “To beat a team like Springfield who is technically sound and talented in this area is a boost of confidence.”

When you are able to hold an undefeated team scoreless, a full team effort is the only way to do that.

“It was our team playing together,” Hodgson said “We have nine seniors and they lost to Springfield in the 2017 district final so they were ready and I think looking forward to this one.”

United improves to 15-3 on the season, while Springfield ends its season at 15-0.

For United, Hannah Minor scored on a pass from Samantha Wolfe off of a free kick. Wolfe also scored a goal and Morgan Briceland added an assist.

Madelynne Brieck recorded 12 saves in goal.

“Before the game I was reading them their list of team goals they made before the season and the last one was making the (district) final,” Hodgson said. “I told them ‘you have achieved everything we have asked of you except this last thing. The seniors always lead humbly and proudly and they do a great job.”

For United’s players and coaches, the only way they know how to play is humble and motivated.

“We just know it’s about being humble and using our strengths to help our weaknesses,” Hodgson said. “(The players) know it has to come from them and they do a great job.”

United lost in the district final in 2014 to Mooney and lost in 2017 in the final to Springfield. Now, three years later, the Eagles get another shot at it in what will be a lot of the players’ last chance.

Next, United will travel to thired-seeded Burton Berkshire in the district final at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“We all were just solely focused on Springfield knowing that would be a battle so we will be doing our homework,” Hodgson said. “I talked to a couple coaches today and heard that they (Berkshire) have a strong defense and we feel that is our strength as well.”

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