RUNNING DOWN THE BALL — Springville-Griffith Institute varsity girls soccer player Tia Woodarek drives the ball past an East Aurora defender. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Tia Woodarek has been scoring goals for the Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity soccer team since she was in eighth grade. Once again, the player her teammates call “the offensive assassin” showed up for the Lady Griffs, in a bout with Lake Shore on Oct. 3. Woodarek scored 3 goals, two of which were unassisted, to power Springville to a 4-0 win against Lake Shore. Her sister Alena also scored a goal and had an assist, while sophomore Brittney Luther returned from injury to assist on Woodarek’s goal.
“It took us a while to break them down, a little bit,” said Springville coach Shawn Bullard, on his team’s performance against Lake Shore. “We needed a little bit more ball movement; our finishing was off. We had some chances inside the 18, inside the 6, but just we couldn’t finish.”
Springville’s game against Lake Shore was the end of a seven-day layoff the Lady Griffs had, since defeating Amherst on Sept. 27. Bullard said that his team showed “a little rustiness” in the first half against Lake Shore.
“It was a week since we played last and that kind of hurt us,” he explained. “It took us awhile to get back into game mode. Our defense was a little shaky, at times, and that’s just a testament to our time off. That week of only practice hurt us, big time.”
The week off gave the Springville team some time to get healthy again. Entering the week, Springville had three starters on the shelf, due to injuries. However, Dakota Nesselbush, Kate Darling and Luther have since recovered and are now back in the lineup.
This is now the healthiest the team has been, since the beginning of the season, according to Bullard, just in time for games against Pioneer and East Aurora. The Springville team controls its own destiny in the ECIC III division title chase. If the Lady Griffs win out, they will own sole possession of the divisional crown.
“It’s tough; it’s a long season,” said Bullard. “High school sports are tough. These girls are playing two, three games a week, and then they have a full slate of studies. The season takes a toll, no matter what sport it is. You get to the point where you’re mentally exhausted, you’re physically exhausted and you’re ready for a break. You somehow have to focus, grind it out and go to work. It’s nice to be able to control your own destiny and not depend on anybody else.”