Jeeps season ends after sectional loss

Photos by Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Northeast Dubois' Hali Nesbitt races for the ball during Tuesday's girls soccer sectional game at Cedar Crest Intermediate School in Bretzville. South Spencer defeated Northeast Dubois 8-0. For more photos from the game, click here.


BRETZVILLE — The Northeast Dubois girls soccer team ended its season Tuesday night, but for awhile, they put up a fight. They were able to fend off most of South Spencer’s advances, and held the Rebels to only two goals in the first half. But the Rebels turned up the heat with six second-half goals that wilted the Jeeps, and ushered them out of the first round of Class 1A sectional play, 8-0

Jeeps coach Dylan Robling thought his team played one of the best halves of soccer it has produced all season. But a combination of the Rebels’ (7-6-1) speed and Northeast Dubois’ fatigue was too much for the Jeeps to overcome in the second half.

“First half, they fought really hard and played really well,” he said. “The second half, we got a little tired, and [the Rebels] started scoring more goals. We tried a couple of different things — it didn’t pan out for us very well.”

For the first 14 minutes, the Jeeps (3-11-1) were able to lean on their defense to keep the Rebels from getting any offensive traction. South Spencer was able to mount a few charges on the Northeast Dubois net, but freshman goalkeeper Alexis Hawkins used all her powers to fly around the goal, and turned herself into a human “Keep Out” sign.

Northeast Dubois teammates hug their seniors after Tuesday's girls soccer sectional game at Cedar Crest Intermediate School in Bretzville. South Spencer defeated Northeast Dubois 8-0. For more photos from the game, click here.

But the Rebels were dogged in their attempts to score. Senior forward MaKaylee Matthews was the first to break through and find the net for South Spencer, but the Jeeps regrouped to put the wall up once again. But 10 minutes later, senior midfielder Jenna Lauer forced her way inside the box and took a shot over the outstretched arms of Hawkins. The ball rolled off the tip of Hawkins’ fingers, and bounced into the net for a 2-0 Rebels lead.

The Jeeps held tough for the rest of the first half, but the second proved to be their final undoing. Lauer and sophomore forward Macey Toler combined for five goals in a little more than 10 minutes, and senior forward Brooklynn Hadley squeezed in one more score with 45 seconds left, as the Rebels punched their ticket to a semifinal match with the Forest Park Rangers.

It was a tough year for the Jeeps, with more time being spent taking their lumps as opposed to enjoying successful outings on the field. Robling believes that in order for the team to move forward next season, it’ll require a radical shift in how the Jeeps approach their preparation and offseason workouts. He hopes the season has impressed upon the girls how important it is to put in the work during practice instead of hoping that playing hard on game day is enough to win.

“It’s just work. They’re going to have to work hard in practices and not just games,” he said. “Every game this year, they fought really hard. But practices were usually a little different. If they want to move further than what we’ve been moving in the last three years, it’s going to take a whole mindset change for them, starting Day 1.”

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