News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

October 3, 2012

South Vermillion, Sullivan win on opening night of Class A soccer sectional

SULLIVAN — Coach Kurt Hauger’s team knows interdependence is a big key to success on the high school soccer field.

The Sullivan girls team showed that cohesiveness is what makes it the favorite to repeat as champions in the Class A Sullivan Sectional.

For 20 minutes Tuesday, the Golden Arrows came up empty despite several quality shots at the goal. As the clock ticked past 20 minutes, Jenni Wilkies placed a nice pass ahead to Cassidy Mahurin, whose cross found the foot of Maddie Figg.

Figg knows what to do at that point, finding the back of the net for her 22nd goal of the season. Figg added her 23rd goal at 9:57 before halftime as Sullivan stretched its lead to 3-0 before cruising to a 9-1 victory over Pike Central. The Arrows will face South Vermillion, a 5-0 winner Tuesday against West Vigo, in Thursday’s 7 p.m. semifinal

“All the girls really worked together to do all the passing. We worked really hard to spread the field. With the [wet] weather, it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. We played really well,” said Figg, who also assisted Adison South on a pair of first-half goals. Figg showed great touch to push it ahead to South on the two plays.

“We fell into that [connection] by accident when Cassidy [Mahurin] got hurt at the beginning of the season,” Hauger said. “Maddy does a great job of drawing defenders to her and playing the ball over to Adison. And Adison, they work well together in practice and on the field. It’s worked out to be a really good combination for us.”

Hauger was happy with how his team began finishing after a slow start.

“It started slow then Hannah McPhail really started making some nice passes. It freed up our wings, we really wanted to play the ball wide, and then we were able to play Madison and Addie in the middle. And Maddie’s work rate in the middle, she just does a great job getting the ball past that last defender and getting it into the back of the net. That was great to see, that it was the seniors that really stepped up after that first 15 minutes.”

Faun Szczepanski led South Vermillion (3-11) to a second consecutive victory, putting together the first hat trick of her career. The senior broke a scoreless tie with 2:50 left before halftime, booting a pass from Carlie Johnson.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Szczepanski had another goal. She made it a hat trick with 11:25 to go in the game.

“She’s really stepped it up the last couple games. A lot of good passes. Freshman Carlie Johnson did a good job feeding the ball to everybody and Kaci Mack always does,” South Vermillion coach Ryan Humphrey said.

West Vigo concluded a winless season. The Vikings fought injuries all season in addition to low roster numbers.

Coach Scott McClain hopes to work hard to build the program after a season of adversity.

“Tonight was really the first night we had a full team,” McClain said. “Overall, I’m proud of the girls. They finished hard. We had to forfeit one due to injuries. We’ve just been dealing with the injuries. Half our team is seniors. We’re hoping I’ll be able to go down to the middle school and promote the program. That’s our key.”

South Vermillion will take a shot at Sullivan, who had a shutout going while senior Cobie Harrison was in goal. Harrison stepped out to score her first two varsity goals, one on a penalty kick and another in the open field.

“People really underestimate her foot skills,” Hauger said. “It was Maddy Figg’s idea to bring Cobie up to shoot. We have been practicing Cobie taking penalty kicks. She’s been hitting them.”

Humphrey knows his Wildcats will have a tough mountain to climb. Sullivan won the regular-season meeting 4-0.

“They’re a good team. We’ll get to play on their field so they’ll have the home-field advantage. We’ll hope to play better than we did the first time. We’re peaking right now, having won two in a row,” Humphrey said.

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