GENOA – When Christina Sommerfeld came to Indian Creek from DeKalb as a sophomore, she never thought she’d be on a soccer team team as successful as the 2013 Timberwolves, which won the first regional championship in program history last week.
Two years after transfering, the senior saw a team with talented underclassmen and some steady veterans, and realized that a winning season was possible. The T’wolves closed out their best season in program history on Wednesday with a 3-0 loss to Stillman Valley in the Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Sectional semifinal.
“I wasn’t expecting this kind of team,” Sommerfeld said. “Every year, we’ve improved, just learning new things, coming together with new players.”
The young T’wolves were without leading scorer Emily Schilling, who qualified for the state track meet in the 800 and 1600 meters, but they hung with a veteran Stillman Valley squad in the first half.
Sommerfeld had a chance early, when she settled a throw-in cross, but her shot from inside the penalty area was saved. With 22 minutes left in the first half, Sommerfeld served a cross to Madison Spooner, whose shot was too high.
Indian Creek (10-4-4) goalkeeper Josie Diehl came up big several times in the first half, but couldn’t stop Stillman Valley forward Maya March’s shot with 18 minutes left in the first half, which opened the scoring.
“They came out hard and we gave them what we could,” Indian Creek coach Luke Anderson said. “I think when they scored their first goal, it took the wind out of our sail a little bit. It’s just experience, stepping up from something like that. They’re a great team.”
In the second half, Stillman Valley controlled the flow of play and scored two goals in the first 16 minutes of the half. The Timberwolves didn’t have an answer.
Despite the loss, the experience was a valuable one for the 12 underclassmen on the team.
“There was definitely a lot to learn from … playing a team that can possess the ball and wins the first and second ball,” Anderson said. “It was a great experience.”
While her career ended, Sommerfeld thinks the Timberwolves turned a corner this season, and she sees big things from her young teammates in the coming years.
“It’s only going to get better from here. They’re going to keep getting better and better,” Sommerfeld said. “It’s a bummer. It’s my senior year, and I’m not ready for it to end, especially with this great of a team. We’re a family. It’s one of the closest teams I’ve ever been on, and it really sucks that this is our end, but we came out and gave it for all for every game. We made history.”