Durant girls soccer advances to district finals
The Cougars advanced to the District Finals after a big win over Winter Haven.
During the year, Durant’s women’s football improved to 15-3 and qualified for her district’s championship following a 6-0 semi-final win over Winter Haven on Monday night.
Durant controlled possession from the opening whistle, earning a second-minute corner kick opportunity only after a run down the right side from junior forward Rachel Horn, but the Cougars didn’t. been able to capitalize. And in the fifth minute, despite Durant having a significant advantage in ball possession, Winter Haven was able to counter with an opportunity of their own, but the Cougars defense was able to stand their ground and quickly put an end to one. of Winter Haven’s few significant offensive opportunities on the night. . Over the next 10 minutes, Durant had his chances, with shots from senior captain Katlyn Levasseur and junior captain Kassidy Oliver deflecting away and a shot from sophomore forward Mykala Ulrich hitting the post.
In the 21st minute, Durant finally managed to find the back of the net as Ulrich led the charge with a run down the right side, only to have his cross attempt sent out of harm’s way for a throw-in. Next, Ulrich put the ball into the box where it shook around the end zone before Horn could finally put the chance aside and give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
Despite continuing to possess their offensive third throughout the remainder of the first half, Durant was unable to score another goal as the halftime whistle blew and the Cougars clung to their 1-0 lead.
Horn had another chance in front of goal early in the second half, the chance saved by the Winter Haven keeper to keep the deficit at one for now, but Durant broke through again in the 49th minute. On another run down the right side, Ulrich sent a fine cross into the box and just past his waiting teammate’s outstretched foot, but Winter Haven couldn’t clear the ball as it was collected at the top of the surface by Oliver, passed outside. to Ulrich and sent back to where he was finished by rookie Addison Kapustiak to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
At that point, the floodgates opened for the Durant offense. First-year midfielder Kendal Vician added a third goal from a shot from the top of the box in the 52nd minute, followed by an Ulrich goal in the 56th minute, followed by a Horn goal from a superb Vician’s left wing center. at the 60th minute. As time ticked away with less than 15 minutes left in the game, Levasseur sent a ball into the box which was deflected by Horn to the foot of rookie Emily Hein who put the Cougars up 6 -0 and sealed Durant’s victory in the semi-finals, earning them a spot in the district final against Newsome on Wednesday.
Newsome is a familiar foe to Durant, ending the Cougars’ playoffs with a 2-0 victory in the district semifinals last year before the two teams split their regular-season series this year, with Durant picking up a win 3-1 over Wolves in early December before losing 2-1 to them on January 19.
Not only is Newsome a rock-solid opponent – finishing the year at 15-3 – but the Cougars were also forced into the contest without two strong starters in Karlie Collins and Emma Harnage as Collins suffered an ACL injury. against Steinbrenner on Jan. 13 and Harnage is prone to head injuries.