In what can only be described as sheer amazing, the 14th ranked Dallas Center-Grimes girls' soccer team pulled the upset win over eighth ranked A-D-M to punch their ticket to the 2018 state tournament.
The Fillies kept a high flying A-D-M offense, who came into the game averaging nearly five goals per game, to just one regulation goal while besting the Tigers in overtime for the 2-1 win.
A-D-M was the first to score and held a lead just before the half thanks to freshman Ashlynn Watt in the 36th minute of play. The 1-0 Tiger advantage held and the Fillies headed into the halftime break down 1-0.
What was a heavily dominated ball possession first half by the Tigers completely flipped in the second half with the Fillies dominating time of possession. Despite winning the possession battle, the Fillies struggled for most of the second half to get good looks at the goal. Then, with 51 seconds left and their season on the line, junior Zoey Chumbley put breath back into the Fillies' season with her third goal of the season.
The second half really showcased a strong offensive stand as well as the Fillies went from one shot on goal through the first 40 minutes to four shots on goal in the second half. From the second half on the Fillies practically took over the contest and head coach Dan James gave a lot of the winning credit to that second half.
“That second half I feel we came out with a little different attitude and we controlled the ball a lot more,” began James. “We used our bench a lot, using five to six girls at a time trying to wear them (A-D-M) down and in the second half it finally started showing. Finally we had to put an extra forward up their towards the end (of regulation) and then we went into attack mode.”
The remaining 51 seconds would come and go with the score still tied at one which would send the game into overtime. From there two sets of ten minute overtimes would come and go with still no score as the Fillies used suffocating defense keep the game tied at 1-1. The game then went into the decisive do or die penalty kick mode and in that time, the Fillies prevailed connecting on all four of their penalty kicks while senior Rachel Neumann swatted away two A-D-M penalty kicks for the win.
Neumann was also the first Filly to kick in the penalty kick time frame and was joined by successful penalty kicks from Alexa Smith, Kaylin Berghoefer, and the eventual game winner from sophomore Nadya Martinez.
After the Fillies were defeated by a 5-0 mark earlier in the season, coach James felt like the win was a great fit for the way his team prepared for the sub-state final.
“The girls really bought in after getting beat five weeks ago,” began James. “The girls watched tape and looked at things to correct and all of that showed here tonight.”
Coach James also talked about the strength of ball possession as another key to the win for the Fillies.
“A-D-M is a top notch team,” started James. “As a team we kept talking about getting possession and using our outside mid-fielders. The team did a lot better job of our center mids staying home and we used the outside mids to utilize a little more possession and after awhile we got behind the defense and we got a few breaks that we needed there.”
The Fillies now reach the state tournament for the second time in four years and the fifth time in the past seven seasons. Once the dust settled and the Fillies officially came out on top, James felt more than great with finally bringing DC-G girls' soccer back to state.
“It is refreshing,” said James. “It's been three years since we've been to the state tournament. We've had a proud tradition and this is our tenth state tournament that we've been to.”
The Fillies will now head into the 2018 state tournament as the eight seed and will take on Class 2A's top seeded team in Lewis Central. The two teams will battle it out on field nine which will begin Thursday, June 7 at 1:30 p.m.