FLC soccer wins play-in game
LINCOLN – Their fate came down to one game. The outcome of 60 minutes of soccer was the difference between a playoff berth and the end of a season.
One goal, however, proved to be enough as the Forest Lake Christian soccer team defeated Vacaville Christian 1-0 Monday afternoon at Lincoln High School to advance into the postseason.
Because the two teams finished the year with identical 10-2-4 records in the Central Valley Christian League and tied both times they faced each other, a tie-breaker game had to be played at a neutral site to see which team would move on as the league’s No. 2 seed.
The winning strike came 15 minutes into the contest from senior captain Megan Stallings.
Shortly after a throw-in, defender Aubrey Stelzner came up with the ball and found Stallings in the center of the field about 15 yards from the goal. Stallings took a dribble, turned and kicked the ball with the side of her foot into the lower right corner of the goal.
“I kicked it with the outside of my foot and really didn’t expect it to go in,” Stallings said. “But I’m really glad it did.”
Forest Lake Christian had more offensive chances than its opponent. However, Vacaville Christian seemed to string together more dangerous scoring opportunities as the second half continued.
The victory was the sixth straight for the Falcons, who are only giving up an average of one goal a game in the past month.
Because of the heat and the fact that the winner of the game must play again today, the time of the contest was shortened from 80 minutes to 60 minutes.
Vacaville Christian coach Paulo Mikelionis said after the game that the shortened time played to the favor of whichever team was able to score first, thus allowing that team to take fewer gambles on defense.
“I believe that Forest Lake is the most talented team in the league,” Mikelionis said. “They present a lot of matchup problems and they have tremendous offensive weapons.”
Mikelionis specifically pointed to the play of Jillian Witzke, Shelby Lowe, Chelsie McGirr and Stallings as the more difficult players to match up against.
The Falcons do not have much time to celebrate their win, however, as this afternoon they travel to play Central Catholic in Modesto in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs. A 3:30 p.m. start time has been set for the contest.
Central Catholic comes out of the Southern League with a perfect 18-0 record in league play and a 22-3-1 overall record. According to Mikelionis, Central Catholic will be without one of its top forwards, who was involved in a recent car accident.
Prior to the contest against Vacaville Christian, the Forest Lake Christian coaching staff felt its team was at ease and feeling relaxed.
“I think we had a peace coming into this game,” Forest Lake Christian coach Alane Burke said. “The girls just want this so bad and we’re not done yet either. I don’t think Central Catholic has faced an offense or defense like ours in their league this season.”
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
It’s just good to be back playing.