It didn’t take Triad long to find open players and open shots, but the Knights banged away at the the Carbondale goal over seven shots and 18 minutes before Katie Rogers finally found the back of the net.
It was all Triad needed to win its fifth straight Class 2A regional championship, an eventual 3-0 victory over the Terriers.
“It was a little nerve-racking though when we were up 1-0 at halftime, but could have been up a lot more,” said Triad coach Matt Bettlach. “You could see it on the kids’ faces and in the second half they were going to come out a little bit more aggressive. I don’t know if it was frustration on their faces, necessarily.
“I think they were just anxious because they knew it was there they just had to find it.”
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Triad put 22 shots on goal before the Terriers got off their first. By that time, Sam Bassler and freshman Jordan Wilson had scored for the Knights to put the game away. Carbondale put just three shots on goal, all late in the second half.
We did a better job in the second half of opening it up a little bit and getting those through-balls. In the first half we tried to shove everything in the middle. In the second half we tried to play out wide more.
Matt Bettlach, Triad girls soccer coach
“They move off the ball well, they are extremely creative and we weren’t able to contain that,” said Carbondale coach Ortez Davis. “There were some mismatches we struggled to defend early on. It took a while for us to get in a groove and by the time it happened it was just too late.”
Triad advanced to its own sectional tournament, which begins Tuesday with games at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Knights will take on Springfield High School in the first semifinal game. That game will be followed by Waterloo against the winner of the Chatham Glenwood Regional.
Carbondale senior goal keeper Chrissy Scott didn’t get the fate she deserved. She made 12 saves with help out front by defenders Emma Williams, Tory Lyndy and Kelsey Haglar. The combination accounted for 11 shutouts during the regular season, but could not hold off Triad without a sustainable push on the offensive end.
“The shots came very often and very quick. The whole Triad team is very quick and made our team work a lot harder than we have before,” Scott said. “My back four are the reason I stay in games. Without them I wouldn’t be keeping three goals in conference.”
The Knights found opportunities early, but were eight turned away by Scott, contested by the defenders, or didn’t put the shot on the goal.
Triad had eight corner kicks, none of which yielded a goal.
Rogers broke the tie when she picked up a loose ball behind the Carbondale defense and beat Scott to the far goalpost.
“We did a better job in the second half of opening it up a little bit and getting those through-balls,” Bettlach said. “In the first half we tried to shove everything in the middle. In the second half we tried to play out wide more.”
There were some mismatches we struggled to defend early on. It took a while for us to get in a groove and by the time it happened it was just too late.
Ortez Davis, Carbondale girls soccer coach
Bassler cushioned the lead at 51:03 when she followed through on a shot off the cross bar by sophomore Jody Ellis. Almost 10 minutes later, Wilson — a freshman who was promoted from the junior varsity team to cover an injury — found the back of the net with a header to make it 3-0.
Breanna Thomas got the first shot off for Carbondale, a laser that was deflected over the goal with a spectacular effort by Triad goalie Skye Clark.
Carbondale’s season ended with a record of 13-7-1.
“Chrissy stepped into this role for us this year and she’s been laying it on the line game in and game out,” Davis said. “A lot of the credit for us to be as successful as we have been this season has been because of what Chrissy has been able to do. With Emma, Tory and Kelsey — other seniors right there in front of her — our defense played extremely well this year.
“They had 11 shutouts on the season. But it’s just hard to defend a team that’s this talented on their attack. She made some great saves, and I’m proud of her, but they are just a lot to handle.”