INCLINE VILLAGE - The top-seeded Incline girls breezed through the Division III Northern Region Soccer Championships this past Friday and Saturday at Highlander Stadium, outscoring their two opponents 10-1 en route to the regional title.
The Highlanders began the tournament with a 4-1 win over fourth-seeded White Pine on Friday. They ended it with a 6-0 win against second-seeded Whittell on Saturday.
Against White Pine on Friday, the Highlanders dominated possession as they consistently peppered the Bobcats' goal. But goalie Amanda Allred denied most of the attempts, many in skilled fashion, while Brittany Bennett and Autumn Lawrence played scrappy defense to limit the hosts.
"What kept White Pine in the game was their goalie. She had an outstanding game," said Incline head coach Tom Canino.
Freshman Vanessa Andrade broke through first with a goal assisted by Haley Derr. Derr followed with another goal unassisted to give the Highlanders a 2-0 lead entering the half.
Incline kept the pressure on the White Pine defense in the second half, which paid off eight minutes in when Derr delivered a corner kick in front of the goal, and junior Elise Nelson blasted it into the upper netting for a 3-0 lead.
White Pine's Madison Collins caught the Incline defense with a goal in the 62nd minute. But Andrade answered with her second goal just three minutes later to round out the scoring. She used her speed to stay a step ahead of Bennett on a breakaway, then buried a low shot from about 10 yards out.
"I thought the girls played really, really well. They let up and gave up a goal we didn't need to. But overall they played well," Canino said, complimenting the play of Andrade, Derr and Nelson in particular.
It was all Highlanders in the regional final.
Incline jumped all over Whittell with four first-half goals after the Warriors advanced with a 3-0 win over third-seeded Pershing County.
Andrade notched a hat trick plus one, scoring four goals total, including the first three of the game. The freshman standout began with a goal assisted by Kerrie Tonking in the 16th minute. She followed with another, assisted by Nelson, in the 25th minute, then scored again in the 29th minute, again assisted by Tonking.
Nelson got on the board with a goal on a corner kick taken by Derr in the final minute of the half, pushing the lead to 4-0. Nelson added her second goal of the game just one minute into the second frame, while Andrade added her fourth, assisted by Nelson, in the 64th minute.
White Pine defeated Pershing County 1-0 in overtime of the consolation final to earn the third and final Northern seed at state.