In what has become a familiar sight in recent years, when the final whistle blew on Saturday in the 3A State Soccer Championship, the Fillies embraced and dogpiled on each other in celebration of another title.
Cody won the championship for the second year in a row and fifth time in the last six seasons, defeating Worland 4-0 on Saturday in Green River. The Fillies also finished the season undefeated for the second straight year, finishing 17-0 this year.
“To go 34-0 is pretty special,” coach Marian Miears said. “Back-to-back is hard enough, but then to go undefeated is truly amazing. This is a highly skilled team and they are mentally so tough. It’s hard to have that pressure all season and then to turn around and win it all is something to be said. I am proud of how much work and time they have put into this season.”
During the weekend the Fillies didn’t allow a single goal to be scored on them, while racking up 14 of their own. Cody defeated Rawlins 5-0 and Lander 5-0 to advance to the title game.
“I think shutting out every team shows that we do truly play our hearts out every game and leave everything out on the field,” Hattie Robbins said. “To be a part of this team is almost being a part of another family. It’s a bittersweet experience graduating because I will be leaving this team I’ve played with for years behind, and that is one thing from high school that I will truly miss with all my heart.”
Cody 4, Worland 0
The championship featured the top-ranked Fillies versus second-ranked Worland, and while the Lady Warriors had some chances in the game, the Fillies for the most part controlled the tempo and had the momentum.
“We handled Worland very well and only allowed three shots on goal the entire 80 minutes,” Reece Niemann said. “We knew they were fast, but we were able to shut them down from the start.”
The Fillies had some chances to score early and it wasn’t long before they succeeded. Cody’s first goal came in the 11th minute. On a corner kick, the Worland goalie couldn’t get a handle on the ball and Jessa Lynn had a header into the net. The weekend was Lynn’s first action in several weeks after a quad injury.
“It felt awesome to have a header into the goal and it felt amazing to be back playing,” she said. “I definitely missed it.”
Cody made it 2-0 when Lynn scored again off an assist from Ally Boysen in the 26th minute. Her shot from the 18 was on target.
At the end of the half Cody thought it had its third goal of the day when Ally Boysen scored, but it got waived off because the ref said time in the half had already expired.
“The goal being called off in the first half was definitely a little bit frustrating, but we knew that we had so much time left and we were doing some good things so we let it go and just moved on,” Boysen said.
The Fillies official third goal happened in the 46th minute when Aspen Kalkowski passed to Boysen for the shot. The final score happened in the 75th minute. Boysen scored again off an assist from Molly Hays.
“In the second half we focused on possession and just keeping the ball and I scored off some really good through balls from the midfield,” Boysen said.
From there, Cody just kept its focus until time wound down.
“It is really bittersweet that it’s over,” Gillian Growney said. “There’s no better feeling than winning with these girls, but winning today means it’s the last time playing with them. It’s sad, but I can’t wait to see what all the girls do and watch the team next year.”
Cody 5, Lander 0
The Fillies earned a return to the title game after defeating Lander in the seminfinal 5-0 on Friday.
“I think we all knew that they were a tough team to go against, and we have a little bit of a rivalry with them so I think we were just ready to go and we all were super excited to play,” Kalkowski said.
Cody had faced the Lady Tigers for the past two seasons in the title game.
“It was cool to face Lander again,” Growney said. “We have a sort of unspoken rivalry, so it is always fun to face them. Also this year it was just us or them who could go to the final so all of our competitive spirits were sparked extra.”
It took awhile for the Fillies to get going and it looked like they might end the first half scoreless, something they hadn’t done this season. But then in the 39th minute Ellie Talich passed to Kennedi Niemann for a shot from outside the 18 to make it 1-0.
“I’ve never felt more excited than when I got that first goal,” Niemann said. “ I feel like that gave us a ton of energy going into the second half. We really needed to put one in the net to get us going.”
As they had in their last meeting with Lander, the Fillies went on a scoring run in the second half.
Aspen Kalkowski passed to Ally Boysen, who scored in the 42nd minute to make 2-0.
“I think my favorite goal was the first one I scored on Lander,” Boysen said. “Aspen had a really good ball and we had so much energy, so it was super fun.”
In the 49th, Lynn passed to Kennedi Niemann, who took a touch around the defender and shot it into the right corner.
In the same minute Boysen got her second goal when she dribbled to the left and scored to make it 4-0.
Cody’s final goal came in the 63rd minute, when Molly Hays passed to Boysen for the score.
“We came out with more intensity than the first half for sure,” Kalkowski said. “We talked about connecting passes rather than sending through balls and that seemed to work well.”
Cody 5, Rawlins 0
Cody opened the tournament with a 5-0 win against Rawlins on Thursday.
“I think we all just had first-game jitters, but we pulled through and are glad we got them out the first round,” Maddie Beaudrie said.
The Lady Outlaws strategy was to stay back and pack the box rather than attack the Filly offense.
“It was slightly frustrating in the beginning because we weren’t used to their type play,” Ellie Talich said. “They didn’t pressure us like other teams so it was more difficult to get shots off. I think the team handled it well by adjusting quickly and using more of the wings.
The Fillies scored in the 10th minute when Kennedi Niemann sent a through ball to Boysen.
Three minutes later, Hays passed to Boysen in the box and her goal made it 2-0.
Cody had a chance to make it 3-0 a while later when Rawlins was called for a handball in the box, but Hays PK was short and the keeper was able to bat it away.
However Boysen earned a hat trick in the 27th minute and Cody went into the half up 3-0.
The Fillies added two more goals in the second half. Niemann passed to Boysen who scored in the 42nd minute.
The final goal came in the 60th, when Boysen passed a through ball to Beaudrie for the score.
“It was really exciting to score in a state game and it got me pumped up,” she said. “Ally had the ball and was dribbling up the field and we both saw a gap in the defense so she sent an amazing through ball, I followed it, dribbled in and just put it in.”
Rawlins had few chances during the match, as Robbins touched the ball four times.
“The main goal on defense is always to have a shutout so it being the first game of state there was some pressure, but playing with confidence is when we play best,” Talich said.
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