Saturday was a night of firsts for the state-ranked Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity soccer team.
The team’s Sectional championship was not only the first girls soccer title in school history; but the Lady Pacers became the first girls soccer team in the ORVC to earn a Sectional title.
It didn’t come easy, as Switzerland County had to defeat three-time defending Sectional champion Oldenburg Academy by a 2-1 score on Thursday night before moving on to best conference rival Milan in Saturday’s championship clash.
Switzerland County’s Sectional victory also earned them the honor of hosting the Regional match, which was held last night (Wednesday) against Providence, the winner of the Class 1A Sectional #46 held at Christian Academy of Indiana.
The game pits two state-ranked teams: Switzerland County is currently ranked #12 in the State in Class 1A, and rolls into Regional play with an overall record of 13-1-2.
Providence comes into the Regional with a record of 11-5-1, and although the record is worse, the Lady Pioneers are more highly ranked, bringing a #8 Class 1A state ranking into the game.
Statistically, Switzerland County has scored 82 goals on the season while allowing just 11; while Providence has scored 63 goals and allowed 17.
The two teams had three common opponents: Madison, Southwestern, and Trinity Lutheran — and each squad defeated each of the three.
Switzerland County beat Madison 4-0; Southwestern 9-0 and 7-0; and Trinity Lutheran 10-1.
Providence beat Madison 3-0; Southwestern 9-0; and Trinity Lutheran 8-1 and 5-1.
The winner of yesterday’s game now moves on to Providence, where the Regional Championship will be held this Saturday, October 16th, beginning at 4 p.m.
The Switzerland County-Providence winner will play the winner of the Forest Park vs. South Knox Regional semifinal, which was played yesterday (Wednesday) at South Knox. Forest Park sports an overall record of 18-1, and is ranked #1 in Class 1A, while South Knox at 10-5-1 is ranked 33rd.
Here’s a recap of the Lady Pacers historic championship run:
Last Thursday night, October 7th, the Lady Pacers opened Sectional play against their biggest threat to the title, Oldenburg Academy. The Lady Twisters had won the Sectional three straight times, and were gunning for a fourth.
The Lady Twisters had given Switzerland County its only loss of the season, a 1-0 battle, so the teams were very evenly matched.
Switzerland County dented the scoreboard first, with Mackenzie Taylor scoring just three minutes into the game, on an assist by Avy Burkholder.
At the 38-minute mark of the first half, the favor was returned, as Burkholder scored a goal off of an assist by Taylor.
Coming into the second half with a 2-0 lead, the Lady Pacers continued their strong play, but didn’t score again.
Oldenburg got on the board at the 68-minute mark on an indirect kick that resulted from a foul.
Lady Pacer goalie Allena Weaver recorded 11 saves in the game.
The final score was 2-1, sending the Lady Pacers into the title tilt on Saturday.
In the title game, sophomore Mackenzie Taylor again took over, scoring a ‘hat trick’ (three goals) to lead the charge that resulted in a 6-0 championship match win over Milan.
Taylor’s first goal came at the 14-minute mark on an assist by Halle Archer; and the second came at the 31-minute mark in the first half off of another assist by Archer.
Coming out of the halftime break with a commanding lead, the Lady Pacers continued to assure their victory.
Archer scored a goal at the 56-minute mark off of an assist by Raylinn Kappes; and Taylor completed her Hat Trick at the 58-minute mark.
Kayley Jones scored Switzerland County’s fifth goal of the game at the 63-minute mark off of an assist by Taylor; and senior Kappes capped off the scoring when she drilled home a penalty kick at the 73-minute mark.
Goalie Allena Weaver recorded four saves in the title game.
Blazing their way to the school’s first ever girls soccer sectional title, the Switzerland County Lady Pacers also earned big accolades for their success.
Six members of the title team earned inclusion on the All Sectional team for Sectional #45 (listed alphabetically):
• Halle Archer
• Avy Burkholder
• Kayley Jones
• Raylinn Kappes
• Madalyn Levell
• Mackenzie Taylor
Joining these six on the All Sectional team were: Kyleigh Bledsoe, Riley Clark, Alyssa Phelps, and Emma Rohing from runner up Milan; Maddy Bovard, Kieran Groover, and Hillary Lambert from Rising Sun; Caitlin McCarthy and Renee Tunny of South Ripley; and Emma Weberding and Mimi Wilder of Oldenburg Academy.