Lady Indians beat Munster Mustangs in sectional showdown

Varsity+girls+soccer+coach%2C+Shawn+Thomas%2C+holds+the+Sectional+trophy+as+the+team+jumps+in+excitement.+The+team+beat+Munster+4-2+in+penalty+kicks+after+tying+and+going+into+overtime.

Varsity girls soccer coach, Shawn Thomas, holds the Sectional trophy as the team jumps in excitement. The team beat Munster 4-2 in penalty kicks after tying and going into overtime.

Cassidy Niewiadomski

After their 3-1 win against Griffith on Thursday Oct. 9, the varsity girls soccer team met at Highland High School for the Sectional Championship against Munster on Saturday, Oct. 11. Despite going into overtime and being forced into a shootout, the girls came out on top with four penalty kicks against Munster’s two.

In the first half, Munster scored the first goal of the game. At halftime the team used its break to regroup and plan different strategies for the second period. Head Coach Shawn Thomas encouraged the girls to play their hardest, as they potentially entered the last 40 minutes of their season.

“We talked about [how] tactically we had to move our defense higher on the field [and] become more aggressive in the attack instead of hanging out, which is what we were doing in the first half. We had to press them a little bit, so that’s what changed,” Coach Thomas said.

Before the girls stepped back on the field, the tone of the game also set in for the seniors. They, too, took their coach’s lead and made some suggestions for improvement.

“The nine seniors basically came up and we were all throwing out ideas at halftime saying what we need to do. We’ve played together for so long that there’s so much on the line. We took all the energy we had, all the passion we had and put it all together to at least try and tie it up,” Brianna Dougherty (12) said.

By the second half, there was an apparent change in the energy on the field. The girls kept their eyes on the ball and went out to finish the showdown against the Munster Mustangs with a hard fight. With less the ten minutes left, Dougherty tied the game with a much-needed goal.

“It was the scariest feeling ever because [Madison Berumen (11)] hit the ball and I just got my toes on it and I hit it towards the net. It went right over a girl’s leg, and it hit on the other side of the goal line. It was the best feeling ever, but it was so scary because everything was just so slow motion. It was amazing,” Dougherty said.

At the end of second period, the score was still tied, forcing the game into overtime. Because both teams failed to score within the two additional seven-minute periods, five designated shooters from each team were chosen to kick in a shootout. While Lindsay Kusbel (12) defended the goal for LC, she faced two violations, as the referee called that she moved prematurely for the ball. Although the team and many fans were frustrated, Kusbel did not let these calls break her focus.

“I think the best thing was that you just keep calm and just keep a level head. He called what he called, so I can’t worry about what’s in the past,” Kusbel said.

When Teresa Baranowski (12) approached the goal to take her shot in the shootout, the stakes were high. As Munster had two failed attempts and LC one, her goal was crucial. If she missed, five different shooters would have had to bear the pressure of untying the game once again.

“I just knew I had to bury it in the back of the net or else it’d be another 50-50 chance of winning. I just kept thinking about my team and how much of a family we are. I did it for all of us,” Baranowski said.