While I have fallen behind in game updates, I wanted to post a summary from Monday. If you did not have an opportunity to attend this District rival match-up, let me try to summarize the evening of thrills from the stands.
To be blunt, 95% of the game was spent in front of the Villa defense. Junior keeper, Brooke Meier, was credited with 51 stops. She had several unbelievable saves that stunned the offense, refs, and everyone in attendance. Defenders Alysa Pickens and Maria Rice (both juniors), Neema Adley, Caitlin Riordan, and Kelsey Thomas (all sophomores) worked as a fluid unit through constant communication with Meier, making the goal impenetrable. The stellar performance by this Villa defensive squad established them as a critical force on the field throughout regulation and 2 OT's.
Now, the Dixie offense was outstanding and persevered to the end. Their corners, cross-passing, and receipt of the lead ball is quite impressive. They kept speed and pressure on the Villa defenders all night long!
The Dixie defense did everything they were supposed to do, although they were not extremely challenged during the game since the Villa offense never got close enough to take an actual shot on goal. It was an unfortunate off night for the Blue Lightning strikers/forwards.
After remaining tied through regulation and both OT's, in the end, it came down to PKs. Unfortunately, Villa did not prevail and came up short. But make no mistake, Dixie keeper Lily Paganetto was superb in reading the kicker and committing. Meier, who was also slotted to be Villa's 5th kicker, put forth an incredible effort defending Dixie's PK's, but several of their shots were perfectly placed in the top corner. For this spectator, with the unique level of talent and passion that were present on the field from both teams, it was such an enjoyable game to watch, albeit a nail biter till the last PK!
Congrats to Dixie who finished first during regular season District
play, after defeating both St. Henry and Villa in a PK shoot-out.
Although plagued with injuries since the first week of games, Villa has shown tremendous resilience and tenacity.
Their current record is 9-4-3 with 9 shutouts to date.
Junior keeper Brooke Meier has a goals allowed avg of 0.7.
With a win over Dayton on Wednesday, Villa clinched their 6th consecutive NKAC Division III Championship.
Congrats to the Blue Lightning for their continued growth and success on the field.
As we approach the heart of the season, best of luck to ALL teams, and wishes for continued health and safety!