Rebels’ last home match is a big one
COLUMBIANA — The ninth-seeded Crestview Rebels girls soccer team started the postseason with a resounding win over the 18th-seeded Lordstown Red Devils 11-2 in Division II sectional first-round match Monday night.
They advance to face a very familiar opponent. Thursday night the Rebels will play a league rival in the fifth-seeded Champion Flashes. The Rebels just closed the regular season winning both of their matches with the Flashes.
“It was a big win for us. We have already played Champion twice, so we are looking forward to playing them again on Thursday,” Rebels senior captain Maci Shaffer said. “It should be a good game. But we enjoyed playing our last home game tonight and being able to get some of our inexperienced players in.”
“We definitely know who we have to watch out for with them, and they know what they need to watch for from us, which is a bad thing. We both know each other very well. So it should be a good game and a tough match,” Shaffer said.
“As Maci articulated, they also know what to expect from us,” Rebels coach Barry Kimpel said about the comfort of playing a league rival. “They are a well-coached team and they have a lot of really strong players so it is going to be a great contest. If we do the things that we are able to do, we will be competitive. I’m confident that the girls can do what they did tonight.”
The Rebels improve to 11-7 on the season. The Red Devils will close their season with a 3-8-1 record.
“It’s about momentum, and starting to pick up the pace,” Kimpel said. “The girls have been working really hard and I think we are starting to click in a lot of ways that we have been working on since the beginning of the season.”
The Rebels started the contest by scoring three goals in the first 10:08 of the match courtesy of kicks by sophomore Bailey Wonner and two by Shaffer. But the Red Devils answered with a goal of their own by Sarah Schneider at the 22:59 mark.
That is when the Rebels quickly reversed the momentum. Taking the kickoff following the goal, they raced downfield with senior forward Sophia Carr blasting the ball past the Red Devils goaltender Jackie Wilk to make it 4-1 in favor of the Rebels.
“I think our team was excited, maybe too excited,” Red Devils coach Melissa Thomas said. “I always tell them that after a goal, the next five minutes is when you really have to bucket dC.”
“It showed character,” Kimpel said. “Our shoulders weren’t sagging, and they were hungry for that next goal. We knew if we executed the game plan we would be able to do that.”
Rebels sophomore Karagin Miller added to their advantage at the 19:41 mark before Schneider drilled home a penalty shot at 14:02 to keep the Devils in the contest at 5-2. From there, the Rebels exploded for three goals with Carr knocking home two sandwiched around a goal by Rebels junior Joanie Wood. That gave the Rebels a commanding 8-2 lead at intermission.
“She’s an athlete,” Kimpel said of Sophia Carr, who recorded three goals in the contest. “It’s hard to compete with her athletic ability and tonight was one of her best games that she has had in a Crestview shirt. Her decision making was really good so it was a breakthrough game and if she plays like that for the rest of the tournament it will bode well for us.”
Shaffer added two more goals to start the second half, one at 32:10, and the second at the 27:50 mark of the period. Miller added her second goal of the night at the 26:16 mark of the second half to close out the scoring.
“We have six seniors and those seniors play hard,” Thomas said. “We were out for three weeks with COVID so we didn’t play five games which would have helped our record. But what are you going to do? We did what we could.”