By Ryan Palencer
— For the Cascade girl’s soccer team, the magical 2012 season came to an end Saturday, as they fell 2-0 in the sectional final to host Park Tudor.
“We watched Park Tudor play Ritter the other night and we saw that they were a very defensive team,” Cascade coach Sean Adams said. “They focused on containment. We knew that it was going to be really tough to score, but at the same time, we got up on them pretty tightly – almost to a man-to-man standpoint. We were hoping to get to (penalty kicks) at the end.”
Park Tudor scored on a penalty kick following handball with about 10 minutes remaining in the first half. They added another score on a header from a corner kick in the second half to achieve the final margin.
However, Adams was pleased with how his team was able to control much of the time of possession in the second half.
“We only had about five or six shots,” he said. “Park Tudor is a very well-coached team and they are a very organized and defensive-minded team.”
In the opening game of the sectional, Cascade defeated Greenwood Christian. Adams said that they were not as pleased with the effort in that battle as the Cadets were in the following game against Speedway.
“The possible game of the season for us was against Speedway,” Adams said. “We went down two goals to none in the first half. It was pouring down rain and the girls were freezing, but we came out with so much desire and owned that second half and pushed it into overtime.”
In the overtime session, Cascade scored in both the first seven minute half and second half of overtime.
“The girls showed a lot of character and effort in coming back to get that victory over Speedway,” Adams said.
For Adams, the 2012 campaign was a total success.
“I am utterly pleased with how the season went,” he said. “As far as Cascade goes in sectionals, we had only won one game before. Playing for the sectional title was the first time in school history. Twelve wins was the best ever in Cascade history and we won the conference. Everything went as well or better than we had anticipated and it was a great season for Cascade soccer.”
The future is bright for the Cadets heading into next season, as they return their top three scorers from 2012 – Jaylen Gorman, Olivia Fisher, and Madison Berg.
However, there will be challenges going into next season as Cascade loses Nikki Stewart, their fastest player, and Miranda Chastain, their defensive sweeper. They also lose Abby Borhies.
“Our offense is there, it’s just finding a way to fill the gaps on defense and with speed,” Adams said. “But we have a good team going into next year, too.”
With all of the momentum built this season, Adams hopes for it to carry over in a big way next year.
“We got a good draw three years ago, won a game, and then got beat,” he said. “Besides that one victory, we have never had any success in sectionals whatsoever. The girls know that it’s doable. They see the competition and they know the level that they need to play at next year. We are setting high hopes and high goals next year.”