Lady Rangers shopping for second regionalOctober 11, 2021
By HUNTER TICKEL
REO — The final product, a 1-0 win against North Posey in Saturday's 48 Sectional championship, wasn't pristine, Forest Park girls soccer coach Brad Weyer admitted.
In this game, sometimes only one stroke of genius is needed to survive. The Class 1A-No. 3 Rangers (18-1) delivered it in the 55th minute, as senior midfielder Emma Grundhoefer's perfectly weighted corner found the head of senior center midfielder Payton Dilger for the game-winner.
"We hope to get a couple more of those," Weyer said of the set piece. "We've had a couple (of) goals on corner kicks, so it's good."
The Rangers have 11 upperclassmen (seven seniors), but the nerves were still there on Saturday.
"At halftime, we definitely felt the pressure that we needed to go out there and get one right away," Grundhoefer said. "Put away this game."
Forest Park created the majority of the chances and dominated possession as it secured its passage to regionals for the third time since 2018.
"I'm just looking forward to spending time with my team, and having a good time, and just keep on building the legacy that we have," Grundhoefer said.
The Rangers are scheduled to play the Regional 24 semifinal at 6 p.m. Wednesday at South Knox.
Last year at this stage, Forest Park hosted the regional and posted back-to-back 2-0 wins to garner the school's inaugural regional hardware.
It defeated Oldenburg Academy first, and Trinity Lutheran in the final, before bowing out in the semi-state championship, 3-0 against Park Tudor.
If the Rangers can carry over the defensive shape they had against the Vikings, they will be difficult to break down. The Vikings had a handful of forays into the final third, but few options for the final pass.
"We got another clean sheet," Weyer said. "We didn't offer them very many good looks, any looks at all. That was a positive."
The team has held 15 opponents scoreless.
Forest Park out-shot North Posey 8-1 on the frame, in the first 40 minutes, and 12-1 for the match.
"I'm very relieved, I know our work is not done," Grundhoefer said. "We have much more to go during this season. Very relieved and happy for us because we worked really hard for this."
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