The Minooka girls soccer team took the pitch to face off against a tough Plainfield North squad on April 15.
Due to issues regarding the Covid-19 virus, the team was only able to hold seven practices before their first game.
“With all these restrictions and limitations to start the season, we only had seven practices as a team. We were not very comfortable with each other yet. Literally learning about each other during what seemed like a playoff game,” head coach Chris Brolley said.
The team started slow and had to regroup and make many changes in the first 20 minutes of the game, but then things started to click.
A quick transition attack out of a defending corner allowed the Indians to draw a foul inside the box and were awarded a penalty kick.
Senior Hannah Johnstone stepped up to take the kick and was able to tuck it away into the back of the net for the first goal of the season.
“When I took the penalty kick, I was honestly pretty confident. I know that I do well taking penalty kicks, so I was not very nervous about my shot going in,” Johnstone said. “I was excited to have this opportunity to have the first goal of the game.”
Plainfield North refused to go away and struck back by scoring a goal to tie the game at one.
The second half continued to be a dogfight, but the Indians finally broke through with 12 minutes left in the game after a volley goal by senior Genevieve Bowyer after a beautiful assist by Johnstone.
“I knew I needed to score off this free kick to take a lead over North since it was 1-1,” Bowyer said. “Hannah hit me a perfect ball, and I kept the defender off of me just enough to get my foot on it and volley it in behind the goalie.”
Minooka was finally able to put away the Tigers after another goal by Johnstone off a direct kick with three minutes left in the game.
The team held on to win the game by a final score of 3-1 and begin their season with a 1-0 record.
“After that game I was very impressed with the intensity and the determination the girls had. We have shown we can play with anyone, and that we can learn from everyone on the team,” Brolley said.
This was a huge win for the Indians and will help them build more momentum as the season progresses.
“Anytime you can get a win at home to start the season especially against a top conference opponent is huge. Very happy for the seniors, they led us the entire way,” Brolley said.