WATERMAN – Indian Creek girls soccer coach Luke Anderson knows it's been at least four years since his team bested its rival from Hinckley-Big Rock.
H-BR coach Paul Taeuber thought it might be six or seven.
Either way, the host Timberwolves saw that streak end with a 3-1 victory over the Royals on Wednesday afternoon at Indian Creek Middle School.
“It was an interesting game, but [the win] feels really good,” Indian Creek defender Jacklyn Bouma said. “I thought we worked together well on both offense and defense. I really liked the way we passed the ball today, we worked the give-and-goes well.”
Indian Creek (3-0) used that solid passing to put pressure on the visitors early, creating an H-BR foul in the box resulting in a penalty kick. Junior Madison Spooner gave the hosts a 1-0 lead, depositing the PK into the bottom left corner of the cage past diving H-BR keeper Jordan Bullard (four saves) just 1:37 into the match.
“I watch the keeper's feet, see if she's leaning one way of another and then I just try to go opposite while keeping it low.” said Spooner, who is the team's PK specialist and is 2 for 2 this season “I like it, but there is a ton of pressure that comes with it.”
The Timberwolves controlled the pace and the ball for most of the first half and then made it 2-0 with 3:48 to go before halftime as Renee Corriveau captured a bad clearing attempt and scored on a 10-yard strike from the center of the box.
“I'm lucky to have a great bunch of athletic girls on this year's team that are very coachable,” Anderson said. “We have been working on ball possession from Day 1 and I'm starting to see that hard work come to fruition. We just want to string passes together and then look to attack to goal.”
The clubs saw few chances to begin the second half, until Spooner scored her second goal of the match on a 25-yard direct kick at the 20:24 mark to make it 3-0. The Royals (2-2-1) countered just more than a minute later when Lauren Paver worked through two defenders and broke the shutout with a 10-yard shot that deflected off the hands of Indian Creek keeper Josie Diehl (four saves) and into the net to finish the scoring.
“We use the words lackadaisical or going through the motions. Now it's still early in the season, but it's not the expectations we know or that we set," said Taeuber, when asked about his squad's energy level. "Credit Indian Creek for going to the ball hard. Every team is different, we are still trying to find out where all the pieces are going to fit. You have to build that every year even though you bring back nine or 10 starters. I wouldn't think we'd have to do that, but that's what we're going to have to do.”
Anderson is happy with his team's play and the fact that everyone is doing their jobs and more.
“Corriveau is just a freshman who has been doing a great job at the forward spot. Her hustle is contagious and the other girls' attitudes are great,” he said. “Josie Diehl has improved so much at keeper from a year ago, she is showing a ton of promise. Our midfielders, Emily Schilling and Bailey Martenson, are really embracing the possession theme and playing smart. It's just a fun team to be a part of right now.”