MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
SEMINOLE — Osceola’s first step through the Class 3A region girls soccer tournament was an easy one. The Warriors dominated District 9 runnerup King 8-0 Tuesday in a game that ended four minutes early due to the mercy rule. Osceola (16-4) outshot the Lions 38-0.
“We just kept possession all game and passed the ball well,” Osceola coach Anatol Popovich said. “King is an okay team, but they’re not as strong and what we have ahead of us.”
Freshman Cassidy Reich was the biggest offensive threat for the Warriors. She scored three times, all in the first half, including the first goal. In the fifth minute, Reich made a run down the left side and got into the 18-yard box untouched. Just as she was about to launch a shot she was tackled from behind by King defender Jamie Craig. Craig was called for a foul in the box, giving Reich a penalty kick, which she buried in the left corner.
In the 11th minute, another freshman, Alison Watkins, made it 2-0 when she dribbled through space, juked a defender and scored from about 10 yards out past goalkeeper Emily Buffington.
A minute later, Reich scored the third goal on a 25-yard bomb that curled over Buffington’s head and into the net. Reich scored the exact same way later in the half.
‘That’s kind of how I like to score,” Reich said. “I knew right when I kicked them that they were in.”
Watkins also had a multi-goal half when she scored in the 36th minute on an assist by Rebecca Dirks. Kaley Eisenbrei closed out first-half scoring when her shot from 10 yards went through Buffington’s arms.
Popovich subbed out most of his starters in the second half, but the Warriors still kept up offensive pressure. With 21 minutes left, Courtney Smith scored from point-blank range to make it 7-0. With four minutes left in the game, Kelli Pavelka scored when Samantha Pifer’s shot bounced off her and into the goal.