Lack of intensity proves fatal

Starr’s Mill girls’ soccer loses to Carrollton 1-0 in the Elite Eight


Katie Linkner

Sophomore Sofia Varmeziar blocks a Carrollton player from running at the goal. The Trojans dominated the Elite Eight game against Starr’s Mill, with the Lady Panthers not being their usual fighting force. The Mill had very little aggression or intensity, and it cost them their shot at advancing towards the state championship.

Jenna Sanders, Sports Editor

Starr’s Mill, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AAAAA, faced off against Carrollton, the No. 1 seed from Region 7-AAAAA, in the Elite Eight of the GHSA State Playoffs. The Panthers played the Trojans early in the season and defeated them 6-0, but this time Starr’s Mill was defeated 1-0 in overtime.

In playoffs, you can’t think further or you won’t get further.

— junior Chloe Spradlin

The Mill took a total of three shots on goal while the Trojans took 12. All but one of the Trojans shots were stopped by senior keeper Abby Weaver. The intensity that sent the Lady Panthers into the Elite Eight was missing, and this proved fatal.

“We were low intensity,” head coach John Bowen said. “Not until 11 minutes away from elimination did we really push hard. We started getting a little better as the game went on, but it was not our best game.”

Both teams started off fairly slow, as they were both attempting to get a feel for the other team. Carrollton controlled possession of the ball, which led to Starr’s Mill chasing behind.

One of the main differences in the Lady Panther team was that they were unable to maintain control of the ball and make sharp passes. Most times that the Mill would gain possession of the ball, it would get passed to a Lady Trojan. However, neither team ran to the ball, and allowed the ball to come to them.

Katie Linkner
Freshman Sophia Bernardi attempts to catch up with a Trojan to get the ball. The Lady Panthers spent the majority of the game chasing the ball. When Starr’s Mill was able to gain possession, they lost it almost instantly.

“We all just overlooked the team,” junior Quin Nowicki said. “I just don’t think we were ready from the first minute.”

The second half was just a continuation of the first half, and neither team was able to score. In the 78th minute, it seemed as if the Mill may be able to score with sophomore Sara Evans who had two attempts at goal within one minute. The opposing keeper stopped each shot on goal. Neither team was able to hit the net, sending the game into overtime tied at zero.

“We didn’t think about the game at hand,” junior Chloe Spradlin said. “We already had the Final Four in our head. In playoffs, you can’t think further or you won’t get further.”

Four minutes into overtime, Carrollton scored off of a corner kick getting headbutted in past Weaver. After the goal, Spradlin was sent out of the game with a yellow card, but she returned to the game with two minutes left. The Trojans attempted to run the clock so that Starr’s Mill would be unable to score. Overtime ended without another goal from either side, sending Carrollton to the Final Four with a 1-0 win.

“It’s like that with a young team sometimes,” Bowen said. “You have your rollercoaster moments. You have your highs, and you have your lows. We just picked a bad time to have a low.”

Starr’s Mill ended the season with a 13-7 overall record and a 5-1 region record. Carrollton will face Whitewater, the No. 3 seed from Region 3-AAAAA, in the next round. Whitewater has a 4-2 region record and a 12-8-2 overall record. The Final Four matchup will take place on May 14 at Carrollton.