Millard North got a win and some added rest Thursday.
The Class A No. 2 Mustangs scored twice late in the first half and once more early in the second, allowing them to go to the bench in a 3-0 win over ninth-ranked Lincoln East in the first round of the girls state soccer tournament at Creighton’s Morrison Stadium.
It was the eighth straight opening-round win for Millard North, which advanced to Saturday’s semifinals to play No. 6 Lincoln Pius X.
“When you get up 2-0 you can rotate and make sure everybody’s nice and healthy,” Mustang coach John Walsh said. “We were able to play 22 girls today.”
Walsh got that luxury after his team put two in the back of the next in a span of 5 ½ minutes late in the first half.
Sarah Woelfel scored the first on a left-footer from 35 yards that bounced before it got by East keeper Alexis Harris, who slipped on the play. Harris was only able to get her fingertips on the ball before it trickled by.
Kelsie Walter netted the second in the 39th minute on a ball she controlled with her body before getting her foot on it.
“We got the ball down on the ground,” Walsh said. “When we get the ball on the ground we think we’re a lot better team.”
Bailey Dervin’s goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half came on a shot from 18 yards out that found the top right corner of the goal.
“They sure shoot the ball well, don’t they?” East coach Chuck Morgan said. “Quality team. I tip my hat to them. They are a great bunch of competitors. They seemed like they just wanted it a lot more than we did.”
After a stretch of five games during the season — four against ranked teams — in which the Mustangs scored a combined four goals, Millard North has tallied 32 in its last five matches.
“Our offense has finally clicked a little bit,” Walsh said. “We had a dry spell in the middle. But the last few games we’ve been able to score some goals. We think our offense is clicking at the right time.”
Lincoln East (14-6)................................0 0 — 0
Millard North (15-1)................................2 1 — 3
Goals: Sarah Woelfel, Kelsie Walter, Bailey Dervin.
Contact the writer:
402-850-0781, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/nickrubek