With a 3-1 win against White Knoll on Wednesday, Spring Valley earned its first trip to the third round of the Class 4A girls soccer tournament.
Spring Valley was up 2-1 at halftime, and Caroline Herrera’s second goal of the night, from roughly 10 yards out, set the final score with 7 minutes to go.
“This is monumental,” senior co-captain Angela Downs said. “I started crying when we scored that third goal; I was so happy. We’ve never made it this far.”
The Vikings (15-6) took an early lead after 10 minutes of play.
Kathryn Lenti’s shot looked wide, but it skimmed the inside of the far post to put the Vikings up 1-0. The Timberwolves were a step slower, allowing the Vikings to win more challenge balls and maintain control for much of the half.
But Downs said the Vikings lost a bit of their intensity after that first goal, and coach Steve Lea said Spring Valley might have missed some opportunities to open up the lead.
“I kind of felt like, in that first 20 minutes, with as much possession as we had (and) as much time as we spent in their end, if we’d have been a little more fortunate, and done a few more things right, we could have three or four and put it away,” Lea said.
“It was a war after that. Credit to White Knoll – being down a goal didn’t bother them a bit, and they came back strong after that,” he said.
But with five minutes left in the half, the Vikings went up 2-0 as Herrera sent an indirect kick into the back of the goal. The Timberwolves answered a minute later as Hannah Johnston scored on a putback.
White Knoll fought through the second half, but Spring Valley’s defense rebuffed the Timberwolves’ advances. Spring Valley keeper Meisha Draper made two saves, and the Vikings’ defense held through the second half.
Spring Valley will travel to Dutch Fork for Friday’s third round.
“We’re happy to be in the third round,” Lea said. Hopefully, we can gas back up and go.”