Before taking on Buffalo in the state championship game the Cody girls soccer team first had to get through Newcastle and Worland.
Cody 6, Newcastle 0
A 30-minute weather delay Thursday afternoon did little to slow the Fillies in their opening-round game as the Fillies defeated Newcastle 6-0.
“There was just some lightning that was starting to come up on top of us,” freshman Autumn Wilson said. “It didn’t affect us really at all and we were able to come back and score another two goals that half.”
Added junior Baylee Stafford, “We’re super excited about the win. It was definitely the kind of start we were hoping for, and I think it’s awesome that we had so many different girls score rather than just a couple.”
Against the Lady Dogies, it took just six minutes for the Fillies to get their first goal when Wilson scored on an assist from McKayla Moss.
“When I scored at the beginning I thought it got us in the right mindset to start getting into the game,” Wilson said.
In the 24th minute Torrie Schutzman scored from about the 18. Wilson passed it back to her and she put the ball in on her first touch.
Just over a minute later Emma Nieters took a shot that was deflected. It bounced out to Eliza Payne and her chip shot found the opposite corner.
With just under three minutes in the half Moss scored from the 20-yard line with a shot that found the top center of the goal.
The Fillies possessed the ball for most of the half.
“Newcastle had very few chances, but they were pretty fast and usually succeeded at getting the ball down to the corner on our half,” Stafford said. “Thankfully, our defense was able to anticipate passes and knew when to step.”
The weather delay came in the second half and it took a little bit to get going afterward, but the Fillies scored again in the 53rd minute. Moran Heydenberk took a free kick after a foul and Moss was there to finish.
The final goal came in the 61st minute when Wilson scored on an assist by Schutzman.
“I think my second goal was my best because it was such a weird angle,” Wilson said. “Torrie had to try to get me the ball through a bunch of other girls, and she had a weird angle, but she got me the ball and I was able to finish it.”
Late in the game several of the younger Fillies got some time.
“We played well,” coach Marian Miears said. “We finished our shots and I was able to sub in most of the players we brought late in the game.”
Cody 1, Worland 0
Cody has faced Worland in the past two state championship games, so the Fillies expected a tough matchup in the semifinals on Friday.
It proved to be a battle mentally, physically and emotionally for both teams, but as in their last two state meetings the Fillies emerged victorious, winning 1-0.
“Good things happen to those who play hard and they’ve played hard all season,” Miears said. “Worland is a tough matchup for us but they played through it.”
Cody started creating chances right away but couldn’t get it past tough Worland goalie Karla Gaytan, who scooped up multiple shots.
The Fillies’ best chance came when Moss had a breakaway opportunity. Her shot looked like it would find the top of the net, but Gaytan jumped up and tipped the ball over the net.
“That was a great save,” Moss said. “I thought it was going in and then she got her hand on it.”
The Fillies also had two corner kick opportunities in the first half but couldn’t convert, and the game was scoreless at the half.
Cody continued to create chances in the second half and began to express some frustration when they couldn’t find the net.
“We’d get it up and they’d boot the ball and then we’d have to do it again but we couldn’t put one in,” Moss said.
Then in the 55th minute Moss was fouled in the box to create a penalty kick opportunity. Her shot found the top corner of the goal to give Cody a 1-0 lead.
“I was nervous, but when you look at the goal it’s a huge goal and with a tiny keeper so I knew I could get it in,” she said.
Later in the half the Fillies shifted their formation to have just one forward, while Schutzman played back in the midfield to help defend. Cody managed the Worland pressure while continuing to create shots of its own.
“We pulled everyone back to play defense,” Moss said. “They had a few opportunities but we handled it well.”
Then in the final two minutes Worland kicked up the intensity and had a couple of shots at the goal, including one goalie Tayler Kraut had to jump up and catch, before the Fillies were able to clear it and time ran out.
“I was confident in my team and myself the last two minutes,” Kraut said. “Granted it was a good shot but I felt confident and knew I couldn’t let anything in. When the final whistle blew I thought we were ready for the championship.”
After the game Nieters summed up the mood for the entire team.
“I think this calls for a three-peat,” she said.