MOORESVILLE — One goal was all it took in Thursday night’s sectional semifinal matchup between the Class 2A No. 3-ranked Avon Orioles and Plainfield Quakers.
The Orioles’ Sarah Zolcak notched that single score in the first half as Avon won 1-0 over Plainfield.
It was a night of stingy defense from both teams but it was the Orioles who were able to record their fifth straight shutout to lead them to victory.
“I was really confident in our defense today,” Avon coach Eric Nance said. “Plainfield hardly had any chances on goal, I think one shot the whole game. We stayed really organized and really compact.”
Plainfield’s Allison Abbe had scored twice and assisted on another in Tuesday’s sectional opening 9-2 win over Mooresville. Because of her ability, the Orioles game planned their defense around stopping the dynamic athlete.
“We just had to watch where she was at at all times because she’s their playmaker and she likes to get the ball and run at defenders,” Nance said. “We had to make sure wherever she was, we always had someone pressuring and someone covering her. We kept an eye on her at all times and shifted together as a team defensively.”
Plainfield coach Kristen Robbins said she was proud of her Quakers in the tough defeat.
“We knew it was going to be a fight tonight and I was telling them to bring everything they had from the other night and more, and they did,” she said. “They put up a fight tonight and I’m so proud of the girls.”
On the game-deciding goal, Zolcak was able to score on an empty net after miscommunication between the Quakers left the ball free just outside of the box.
“I think they cleared it out through the middle and Sarah Zolcak had a heads up play,” Nance said. “She was wide open there right in the middle and she was able to put it in first time, one touch right into the back of the net. It was a good finish.”