Girls Soccer Season Come To A Close With Loss To Eastbrook

Posted on October 5, 2018 in Fall Sports, Girl's Soccer

Colbie Furnish

Colbie Furnish defends vs. Eastbrook in sectional play.

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
HARTFORD CITY — Over the past two seasons, not a lot has separated the girls soccer sides from Oak Hill and Eastbrook. One of the major differences is that the Panthers have sophomore Sarah Foulk.

Foulk entered Thursday’s Class A sectional semifinal at Blackford with 40 goals on the season, having scored in every one of the Panthers’ matches, and it didn’t take long for her to put No. 8 Eastbrook in front.

The Golden Eagles often marked Foulk with two and sometimes three defenders, but with just over eight minutes gone off the first half clock, she weaved her way between and around a trio of Oak Hill backs to set up a one-on-one shot with Eagle keeper Andrea Wilk and delivered the first of her two goals of the evening.

Foulk would also add an assist on Rachel Manning’s goal midway through the second half, and Eastbrook advanced to Saturday’s 2 p.m. championship with a 3-1 win over its cross-county rival. The Panthers will meet Eastern, a 2-1 winner over the host-Bruins in the second semifinal.

Panther coach Jamie Hallis sensed some nerves out of her side early in the match, and Foulk’s goal helped change that.

“We just need that first goal, luckily Sarah is good and often puts that in for us, and it settles us down,” Hallis said. “I told them from the beginning we had to be patient because Oak Hill often has a lot of people back, and it’s really hard to get to the goal when you have 10 people in front of it. But the girls did a good job of being patient, trying to work the ball around, but they definitely looked better the second half.”

Foulk’s 41st goal of the season may have settled Eastbrook down, but Oak Hill kept the Panthers offense from scoring again in the first half. Foulk found her 42nd goal, which ranks her second in the state according to maxpreps.com, by intercepting a clearing pass from in front of the Eagles’ goal and knocking the ball into the net just more than 12 minutes into the closing 40.

“The game plan was to practice good fundamental foot work. It’s hard to do because she’s cutting so quick and so hard,” said Oak Hill coach Katie Durrwachter. “She did a great job. I thought our girls did a great job in that situation for the most part. Our footwork looked great. We had a couple of moments where it broke down, and that’s where she took advantage of it.

“She’s impressive and she matches it with a work ethic and an attitude that is also impressive,” Durrwachter added. “She’s fun to watch.”

Eastbrook’s defense took care of the rest. The Panthers had allowed just five goals all season entering Thursday and limited Oak Hill to just six shots, two in the second half.

“I felt like first half they struggled with their communication,” Hallis said. “A few of them came off and were frustrated, but they made some good adjustments (in the) second half and their spacing was much better. They seemed to be talking much better and the goal was just unlucky, and that happens. Luckily we had a little bit of a cushion so we were good.”

The Golden Eagles trimmed the final margin with just over 17 minutes to play when Abby Strange lofted a high arching direct kick from about 30-yards out that found its way over the mass of bodies in front of the net and past Eastbrook keeper Gabby Scott.

Oak Hill finished its season 9-6-3.

“We have some very unique personalities on our team, and this year the mixture has been so great,” Durrwachter said. “They work so well together, I think partially because our seniors were so good at setting the tone of, this is who I am, and I’m going to accept you for who you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re weird. Let’s just be weird together.

“We love that about them and that sets a tone and a dynamic for come as you are, lets just get better,” she added. “And lets have a good time while we’re getting better.”

Eastbrook is now 15-1 and will try to win its second straight sectional title on Saturday.

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