Owen girls soccer defeats Polk, hopes victory enough for playoff bid
In the final match of the season on home turf, the Owen High girls soccer team defeated Polk County on May 11.
Owen built a 5-0 lead by halftime and finished with a 6-1 victory. Ranked second with an 8-2 record in its conference, Owen holds an overall record of 10-6-1.
"We showed some really good signs of growth through conference," said coach David Fiest. "We're peaking at the right time, where we need to be and I think conference helped us get to that point."
Owen did not win conference, losing out to Madison, and the Warlassies' playoff picture was not determined. Fiest said he hoped the team would face Madison again in the postseason as the games played in conference were very close.
The Warlassies scored on each of their first four shots.
Striker Kaleigh Allison led the team with a hat trick, scoring the first, third and final goal for Owen. Abby Reitzel, Julia Givens and Mattie Lehman scored one goal apiece.
Lehman, a senior, also had three assists. She leads the Warlassies with 29 goals scored on the season.
"We've had some 15s to 20s or so but I don't know that I've had a player go 29," Fiest said. "On top of the fact that she's up there with our top assisters."
Owen dominated the first half with 10 shots. The Warlassies finished the game with 16 shots.
Polk finished the game with eight shots. Owen goalkeeper Allison Little recorded five saves.
Both teams fought hard, playing physically and aggressively. As the second half began, Owen midfielder Olivia Cadence received a yellow card for an illegal tackle.
"It's just hard, physical play on both sides," Fiest said. "Sometimes it ends up on one side or the other and it's just unfortunate that it happened to be a card for her. Olivia's a good player and she's not going to give in, she's going to fight."
With a 6-0 lead in the second half, Polk subbed in its backup keeper and rotated a few players to different positions on the field. As the match neared its end, Polk scored its only goal.
Fiest said his fingers are crossed Owen's record will be enough to put the Warlassies in the playoffs.
"Conference play was good," Fiest said. "We don't get the automatic bid that goes into the playoffs. Now, we're just hoping this win gives us a good win percentage."
Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or email@example.com. Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.