If the Lewis Central girls are able to capture their fourth straight Class 2-A state title, they’ll have a bit of an unlikely source to thank for giving them a chance.
Sophomore Haley Bach scored the lone goal in the 28th minute of the Region 2 final Monday night to help the No. 7 Titans to a 1-0 win over No. 11 Winterset at Titan Stadium and send Lewis Central back to the state tournament.
The goal was the first of the season and came on the first shot on goal of the year for Bach, who came off the bench.
A stout Titan defense made the goal hold up the rest of the way as L.C. outshot the Huskies 15-5 in the match and didn’t allow a single shot on goal.
Lewis Central coach Chris Von Mende said his team was focused defensively.
“I saw a little bit of tape on the other team, and I noticed they had speed. They use the wings a lot. So we tried to stop some of that from them,” Von Mende said.
“Part of the strategy was once we had the 1-nil lead in the second half, we decided to then get some more defenders. It kind of worked, really,” he said.
The Titans played the first half going against a 15 mph wind but still were able to possess the ball for most of it.
L.C. finally broke through when Mikayla McCart fed Bach a short through pass that left her one-on-one with Winterset keeper Megan McDonald, and Bach finished it easily.
Bach said she was just happy to contribute.
“I just tapped it in, I guess. It was awesome. I love being able to do that. I love being able to help my team,” Bach said.
Lewis Central, which improved to 14-4, held an 8-2 shots advantage at halftime.
The Titans had a chance to double their lead in the 56th minute on a McCart crossing pass to the front of the goal, where 20-goal scorer Jayden Cross had a half-step on a Winterset defender.
But Cross whiffed on the shot to keep the Huskies close.
Winterset coach Seth Woodcock, who received a yellow card for arguing with 29 minutes left in the match, said his team had no shame in falling to the three-time defending champs.
“These ladies have just worked so hard, and I saw it here, to the returning championship team, it’s not a bad thing. That’s not a bad thing at all. We just couldn’t put the ball in the net. That’s the end story right there,” Woodcock said.
The Huskies ended their season with an 11-6 record.
McCart, a senior who has played varsity since her freshman year, has a chance to make it four titles in four years.
“That would be the icing on the cake, honestly,” McCart said.
“But we can’t get here without the whole team. It would be the best, Sometimes it’s a little tough out there, but we got it. We pretty much got it.”
Winterset (11-6) 0 0—0
Lewis Central (14-4) 1 0—1
Goal: LC: Haley Bach. Shots: W, 5. LC, 15. Shots on goal: W, 0. LC, 8. Saves: W, Megan McDonald 7. LC, Hannah Lucy 0.