[soccer]SPRINGVILLE — On Monday Sept. 24, Springville-Griffith Institute’s varsity girls soccer team took on Dunkirk. However, rather than taking to their usual home field behind the middle school, the team played the soccer game on the Pop Warner football field, as part of S-GI’s homecoming celebration.
“It’s a game we all circle on our schedules. We look forward to it and work so hard for [it]. It’s always fun, playing in front of a big crowd. I’m glad we have the privilege of doing this every year,” said senior Courtney Schiele “It’s our main time to show our fans how hard we work toward having a winning record and pride for our school.”
The senior players also said that this is a big game for them, because it is the last time they get to play in that location.
“It’s sad that it’s the last time us seniors get to do it. It’s just an exhilarating moment when a goal is scored. You look up at the stands and they’re all cheering for us; it’s a great feeling,” said senior Margaret Ritche.
The girls beat Dunkirk 5 – 1 in what Coach Holler called a “total team effort.
“In order for the team to be successful, we need all 11 players on the pitch to contribute. It may come in the form of a big save or a timely goal, or something as simple as winning a 50/50 ball,” said Holler.
Alena Woodarek led the Griffs with a 5-point game, including 3 goals and two assists. Her sister, Tia Woodarek, was close behind with a 3-point night, tacking on 2 goals and an assist. Finishing up the box score was Courtney Schiele and Dakota Nesselbush, who each added assists.
“Tia and Alena stuck with it and battled through some missed opportunities early, to bury all 5 of our goals. Dakota controlled the middle of the pitch and helped us control the possession and won a good amount of head balls,” said Holler.
The coach added that, defensively, Katie Zielen-Ersing made a “great save when the game was close, to keep Dunkirk out of it,” and that “the pitch did a solid job in the middle of the field.
“Defense was solid, as usual. If we didn’t do those things, Dunkirk could’ve scored on a miscommunication or bad bounce and stolen the momentum,” Holler added.
The coach said that the girls get excited about the atmosphere of the football field game.
“It is actually a disadvantage to play there, because of the size of the pitch. It is set up shorter and more narrow and that takes away from our speed and skills and makes the pitch congested,” Holler said. “I think they get excited because of the atmosphere being like a showcase. They have been going to the field as a spectator for so long and [in this game] they have an opportunity to reverse roles. It is exciting to them,” said Holler.
Nesselbush said that, “playing on the football field means a lot to our team. Having the opportunity to play a game during homecoming week pushed our team to play hard and ultimately win. I want to thank all the fans that came out to support us.”
The girls will play a home game against Lake Shore starting at 4:30 p.m.