Tags: Feature Sports Story
Big Foot's Schyler Isham (left) and Morgan Sutich celebrate Saturday after Isham's shootout goal.
April 18, 2012 | 08:15 AMWALWORTH — The Big Foot/Williams Bay girls soccer squad went into the Rock/Lakes challenge Saturday without several girls but left still unscathed in the loss column.
Despite missing a couple players due to an ACT test and facing a formidable foe in rival Badger, the Chief Dogs are now 5-0-1 on the season after a win and tie Saturday.
In their first game of the day against Badger, Big Foot erased a 1-0 deficit with a second-half Schyler Isham goal. The game ended in a 1-1 tie, and the Chiefs edged Badger, 3-2 in a shootout. Schyler Isham had the decisive goal in the shootout.
After a win and tie, Badger is now 3-1-1 on the season. Check page 2C for more on Badger soccer.
"We didn't play our best game," Big Foot coach Annie Isham said. "We were missing a couple of girls for the ACT test. We played really flat."
Morgan and Brittany Sutich each added goals for Big Foot in the shootout.
Badger coach Ross Fowler, who was without six girls because of the ACT test, said a shootout can be difficult on players, especially since the tournament had no champion and the girls had to play another game that day.
"It was good practice for us," he said. "But it's usually used to see who advances. It is intimidating for players. For us, the goalie guesses an area, and Autumn Mikrut did a great job at that."
Badger's Kelsey Nocek scored in the 17th minute to give Badger a 1-0 lead. Badger held Big Foot scoreless until the 49th minute, when Schyler Isham used a direct kick from the right corner to lob the ball over Mikrut for the score.
"Schyler has the unique ability to put an inside out spin on the ball," Annie Isham said. "Assistant coach Rene Perez has been working with her on that. She put a beautiful bend on the ball."
"We were not very organized on that goal," Fowler said. "We had different girls in different spots. But I was really happy with how we played except for that one play. Some girls stepped up in unfamiliar spots."
Pearce had six saves for the Chief Dogs, and Mikrut tallied three for Badger.
"It was a good matchup and a good test," Annie Isham said. "I'm pleased we stayed with them. Overall, I was pleased with Saturday. I'm just happy there were no injuries."
In Big Foot's second game, they Chiefs shut out Delavan-Darien, 1-0. Just a little more than a minute into the game, Mariana Hernandez beat her defender and kicked a chip shot over the goalie's head for a score.
Big Foot only had four players on the bench.
"It got ugly," Annie Isham said. "We were very fatigued. The midfield girls were gassed. We were tired and lost focus."
Pearce finished with five saves.
Annie Isham said offense has been a big factor in her team's early season success. Last year, the Chief Dogs scored 26 total goals. Through six games this season, they already have 22.
"We are running a more offensive-minded set," Annie Isham said. "We have a hugely motivated group of girls, and they're working hard. Three freshmen give us speed up top, and Katie Pearce has been unbelievably solid. She is the voice of our defense."
On Thursday, Big Foot will test its 2-0 Rock Valley record against Evansville.
"They are a strong team in the RVC," Annie Isham said. "Our center/mids must do a better job of controlling the ball. But right now, we're having fun."
Big Foot 9, Jefferson 0
The Chief Dogs jumped out to a 5-0 halftime lead last Thursday in Walworth.
Morgan Sutich registered the hat trick with three goals. Sarah Abel and Alex Martin each added two goals. Emma Crement added the other goal.
"We are distributing the scoring," Annie Isham said. "Multiple people are able to finish, including forwards and midfielders."