GREEENCASTLE — Drawing the two-time defending sectional champion in the opening round of postseason play is not an enviable position for any squad.
The Tri-West Bruins girls’ soccer team showed Monday night they were still the team to beat as they downed Southmont in dominating fashion with a 6-0 victory.
Tri-West’s best defense was its offense as the Bruins’ time of possession stymied the Mounties’ offensive production all night.
“Anytime you can have that much possession, that cuts down on the other team’s offense,” Southmont coach Alfredo Villalpando said. “If we can’t get the ball, we can’t play offense. It’s just that simple.
“(Tri-West) held onto the ball, controlled the midfield and won a lot of the 50/50 balls. We found it hard to transition out of defense to offense because of that.”
Tri-West outshot Southmont 14-2 and held the Mounties without a shot until almost 15 minutes remained in the contest.
“We always make that a goal to limit team’s opportunities and limit the saves Karen (Jones) has to make, and the more we possess the ball, the less chances teams have,” Tri-West coach Billy Hall said.
Sydney Carlson and Annie Edwards each scored in the first half for the Bruins. Edwards’ goal came with just under 30 seconds remaining.
“In the first half, defensively, I thought we played very well,” Villalpando said.
At the half, Villalpando told his squad he wanted to them to be more aggressive in the final 40 minutes.
“We tried to be a little more offensive, and I think it opened us up a little more,” he said.
While the Mounties focused a bit less on defense, Tri-West used that to its advantage and scored four more goals.
Katie Parsons found the back of the net past Southmont keeper Sammy White just over four minutes into the second half. Tri-West’s Lexi Turner scored shortly after on an assist from Parsons.
Paige Newton dropped in Tri-West’s last two goals with 28:03 and 22:34 left in the half, respectively.
“They’re a tough squad; they’re ranked in the state,” Villalpando said. “They’ve got an all-around good team. We found it difficult to shut their offense down.”
Southmont’s first shot on goal came as Paige Wininger put up a high shot that almost dropped over Jones’ head with 14:31 left in the game. The Mounties’ best chance came a few minutes later as Cayla Woodcox raced into the box and took a cross right on her feet. Jones stopped Woodcox’s shot with her feet as the pair became entwined and the ball sailed out of the box.
Southmont loses three seniors — White, Kylie Burnside and Hannah Peacock — and all three will be missed.
“The seniors brought skills, attitude and everything you want from seniors,” Villalpando said. “Hannah, our offense revolves around her. Sammy is an awesome goalie and is one of the best keepers in our conference. Kylie has been the anchor on the defensive end.”
The Mounties finish the year 4-12-1 overall and 2-5 in the SAC. Tri-West improves to 15-2 and will face Western Boone Thursday. The Stars defeated North Putnam, 2-0, in Game 1 on Monday.