Sports

Rothe leads Washington to win

GTNS photo by Doug Brenneman

Washington's Ava Turner wins the battle for the ball Monday against Centerville.
GTNS photo by Doug Brenneman Washington's Ava Turner wins the battle for the ball Monday against Centerville.
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Last year, Centerville did not win a single high school girls soccer game.

Last year, Washington won its first high school girls soccer game in three years with a 10-0 win over Centerville.

Monday, Centerville came to town with a 6-6 record after starting the season 5-1.

The Demons also started the year with a 5-1 record and are now 8-5 after defeating the visitors 4-2.

Greta Rothe scored all four goals for the Demons. Washington’s leading scorer, Trina Griffin, hurt her knee in the match.

“We have improved because of all the work we put in in the offseason,” Centerville coach Tony Kurimski said.

That was evident when the Big Reds took a 1-0 lead off a free kick less than 10 minutes into the match. Mickey Stephens ran down the kick and maneuvered past Washington goalkeeper Olivia Pacha for the score.

Griffin was hurt in the second half, but CHS goalie Ashley Tieden was injured when a Demon fell on her with 14 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the first half.

Washington tied the game with 3:44 before the half. Halle Leyden sent a corner kick along the sideline to Narely Torrijos, who sent a ball into the middle.

“The ball went away from me so I wasn’t expecting it, but then it came right at me so I just had to make a quick in-the-moment decision and I headed it in,” Rothe said. “I was a little worried when we got behind, but I knew there was a lot of time. If we work hard I knew we would be able to get it back. When we play as a team and play together, we can do anything.”

Time was not a concern for the Demons when they took a 2-1 lead just 25 seconds before the halftime horn.

“I was just dribbling and I decided to take the shot and it went in,” Rothe said of her shot that was from 35 yards away.

Since a possible neck injury was apparent, Tieden was taken to the hospital by ambulance during halftime.

“We have been talking a lot about mental toughness,” Kurimski said. “I can’t think of a tougher spot than losing your goalie. We had a freshman come in who hasn’t played goalie this year. Abby Drew did an admirable job.”

The mental toughness showed as Stephens tied the match at 2-2 when she sprinted past the defense to run down a through ball.

“I got a little worried at that point, but there was still a lot of time left in the game to get it back,” Rothe said. “When we play hard as a team, we can do it.”

Rothe took a couple of free kicks over the next 10 minutes but they were high and over the goal.

With 17:33 left in the match, the third time was a charm as she blasted the ball through the jumping keeper’s hands and into the net.

“I told myself I am not going to hit this one high, so I hit it lower,” Rothe said.

That was enough for the win, but Rothe added another when she secured a loose ball at the top of the box and shot it in for her fourth score of the match.

“It’s always fun to win a game that goes back-and-forth like this one did,” Rothe said.

Washington coach Protacio Marcelino appreciated the talent of his team, especially Rothe.

“I was concerned when it was tied (in the first half), but I was not too worried,’ he said. “I know what we got. Even after they tied it up (in the second half), I knew that we would come back. I knew the girls would keep working hard. Greta did very well. I want to keep her. I do not want her to graduate. Just stay here and play on the team.”

The Demons were scheduled to play host to Oskaloosa today but that match has been canceled.

The Demons play at Fairfield Thursday.