The Lady Indians made it through districts defeating Century and Wood River but were eliminated by Middleton 3-1 in the state play-in game. The loss was a tough blow to the Indians who came just one step away from their goal of getting to the state tournament.
“Despite not making it to state and accomplishing some of the goals we had set, I really feel like we had a good year and the girls really battled all year through a lot,” said Coach Brandon Lyon. “We dealt with so many injuries, injuries that would have ruined many teams. It was hard to find a good rhythm because of the injuries and always having to make changes but the girls constantly stepped up and worked hard. We learned a lot this season as players and coaches that will only make us better in years to come.”
Matilee Shuman scored Preston’s only goal in the 3-1 loss to Middleton in Twin Falls on Oct. 19. Alexis Harris was credited with the assist.
“Against Middleton, we really played pretty well but we just couldn’t finish some of the chances we got,” said Coach Lyon. “It’s kind of been the story throughout much of the season. We played well in possession and created chances, just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Defensively we really played well, we just didn’t get enough ball pressure on two occasions and they took advantage. We went down 1-0 in the first half but the girls responded quickly and got a goal back. I felt like we had a lot of momentum at that point but that got called for a questionable penalty and Middleton scored off of that.”
Preston was host to Wood River on Oct. 16. Alexis Harris, Sydney Kelley and Kylie Larsen each scored assisted by Quincy Hyde (2) and Larsen. Sydney Marlow also scored for the Indians but it was whistled offsides.
“I was really proud of the way the girls played against Wood River,” said Brandon Lyon of the 3-2 victory. “We easily could have folded after being down 2-1. But they stayed mentally tough and kept battling. Instead of panicking after we were getting chances and not finishing through the majority of the second half, they stayed focused and got two goals in the final 10 minutes to win it. The girls have played with so much resilience all year and it really showed through today.”
Preston held off Century on Oct. 14 in a loser out game at home. They eliminated Century with a goal by Sidney Kelley late in the first half.
For the first time since the IHSAA started sponsoring soccer state tournaments in 2000 the Diamondbacks will not be attending the state tournament.
“We will definitely miss our eight seniors Harli Hymas, Matilee Shuman, Alexis Harris, Ashlyn Marlow, Ragen Rich, Millie Chatterton, Cassee Pugmire and Lisbeth Rodriguez, Lyon said. “They have been a big part of this program for four years and have really done a great job in being leaders and examples of what it takes to build a successful program. We are excited about our underclassmen and know that we will be back next year, better than ever.”