The Indian Creek girls soccer team has, in the words of coach Luke Anderson, a "pretty good" goal differential this season.
That is an understatement.
The Timberwolves enter the Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Sectional semifinals with a goal differential of plus-49 and they will put that impressive statistic on the line against unbeaten Stillman Valley (17-0) on Wednesday afternoon.
Indian Creek (12-2) has scored 58 goals this season and has only conceded nine. Anderson said a big part of this is how the Timberwolves hold on to the ball in the middle of the field.
“Our theme this whole season, and the girls are getting tired of hearing me saying it, is we try to possess the ball as much as possible,” Anderson said. “We want to possess through the center, and then choose when to play the ball forward.”
It also doesn’t hurt that the defense has yet to concede double-digit goals through regionals. The Indian Creek defense hasn’t given up a goal since May 5 against Princeton, which was only its second loss of the season – the other one being against DeKalb.
Sophomore Jacklyn Bouma and freshman Ariana Ward, who have anchored the back four this season, have formed a formidable partnership as a sweeper-stopper combination. Whitney Ostrom and Hayley Larson have held down the wingback positions. Ostrom, a junior and the oldest member of the back four, has stepped up as a leader for the Timberwolves.
“They work together real well,” Anderson said. “Our backs don’t give up very much, but if someone does get past them, our sweeper (Bouma) has so much speed and will get there and clean it up.”
Also, goalkeeper Josie Diehl has had a fine season for Indian Creek. The sophomore keeper has compiled seven shutouts this season. Diehl is tall and gets to high crosses and shots.
This is the second straight season Indian Creek and Stillman Valley have met in the sectional semifinals. Indian Creek lost, 3-0, last year, but the Timberwolves are returning most of their lineup from last season and Anderson said he believes the rematch will be more competitive.
“They have had a really successful season so far, but I am confident that it is going to be a real competitive match,” Anderson said. “We are really looking forward to it. I think it is going to be a close one and I am hoping that we can pull it out.”