LEFT: Deerfield’s Casey Kincheloe, left, scored four goals in the Lady Knights’ first-round state win Tuesday at home against Trinity Christian, Sharpsburg. RIGHT: DWS leading scorer and junior captain Andrew Sullivan scored four times in the Knights’ win Tuesday. (Photos firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBANY — So these are the playoffs?
It sure didn’t look that way or feel that way — or read that way on the scoreboard — Tuesday at Webb Memorial Stadium, where the Deerfield-Windsor boys and girls soccer teams swept their way through the first round of the GISA Class AAA state playoffs.
Casey Kincheloe scored four times and tied the school record for career goals with a head-shaking 112 career scores to lead the Lady Knights to a 10-0 win against Trinity Christian, Sharpsburg, and Andrew Sullivan scored four goals for the Knights, who put away Loganville Christian, 5-1.
Both teams will be back at the Webb on Friday night to play in the Elite 8 round of the playoffs. Their opponents are yet to be determined.
“At Lee County, they always have those T-shirts that say, ‘Elite 8,’ ” Kincheloe said. “I want one that says, ‘State Champs.’ ”
She might just get one.
That’s how good DWS looked in the opening round. The Lady Knights scored two minutes into the game on a Kincheloe shot that came from a corner kick by Rachel Sullivan and DWS was off and rolling. It was 7-0 at halftime, and Kinchelo scored three times in the second half to tie the school record.
“I want the record,’’ she said. “It’s very important to me. I want to leave my mark at Deerfield. I want to be known as the girl who scored the most goals at Deerfield. I’ve been thinking about it since last year. I started thinking about it when I set the school record for the most goals in one season (last year with 45).’’
Kincheloe then added: “I would rather win a state title than set the record.”
It was the eighth win in a row for the Lady Knights, who are 15-3 and now have seven shutouts. It was an easy day for goalkeeper Lexie Harrison, who made just two saves during the game.
“Our defense is awesome,’’ Harrison said. “I love our defense. We’re like a family. We communicate real well.’’
No soccer team has ever won a state title at DWS, but this group feels it has a chance.
Five players scored goals Tuesday as Bailey Weed and Cheyenne Colvin both scored two goals and Rachel Sullivan and Haley Kincheloe scored a goal in the first half.
The Knights, on the other hand, needed to regroup a bit before running away from Loganville.
DWS trailed, 1-0, with about 12 minutes left in the first half when coach Aly Joslin yelled at his players: “You’re too casual!’’
Maybe the words were magical. Maybe they just hit a nerve. Maybe they were a code for something that only the Deerfield kids understand.
Whatever the case, those words worked.
For the next 10 minutes, DWS attacked the net like madmen, creating one opportunity after another — and yet came up empty. You could hear the screams of frustration form the DWS players after every chance slipped away.
“It was frustrating, very frustrating,’’ said Sullivan, who finally ended the drought when he found himself in front of the goal, taking a nice assist from Reynolds Langstaff. Sullivan’s goal with 1:46 left in the half seemed to change everything. An avalanche soon followed and Deerfield (11-2) won easily.
“We are so young this year,’’ Joslin said. “We lost 10 seniors from last year’s team and returned only one player (Sullivan, a junior). We have five eighth-graders who play, and this was their first playoff game. They were too sloppy and too slow. It was nerves. They came back. They grew up.’’
Sullivan scored a goal in the opening minute of the second half and DWS controlled the game the rest of the night. Loganville had only two shots on goal in the second half and Langstaff, an eighth-grader, scored the final goal on a nice assist from Harry Vidibill to make the final, 5-1.
“When he shouted (at us about being too casual) that just fueled us,’’ Sullivan said. “That kick-started us. Now we just have to keep going in the playoffs.’’