The lady Warriors weren't serving up any excuses at the state finals Saturday, just good soccer.
The Warriors were down three key starters, but without skipping a beat, the girls stepped up to fill unfamiliar roles. Whittell playing to win at the Nevada Division III state tournament.
The girls pulled it off in the semifinals too. They advanced to state finals after a 7-0 semifinal shutout against Adelson in Henderson, Nev., on Friday. The Warriors kept the intensity rolling until the final whistle on Saturday, but Incline edged them 4-0 in the state championship match.
"That's one of the things that was great about the team this year, they never gave up," head coach Patrick Kelly said. "Even with the injuries going into playoffs, they banded together as a team and they just didn't give up. To make it to the state finals is a great achievement."
The girls went into playoffs without goalkeeper Brittany Boulet and Sabrina Trachsel, who were both out with knee injuries. Skylar Smith was out with a possible concussion.
As a result, the semifinal match was hats off to Whittell's underclassmen. They stepped up to leave no doubt that the Warriors would be advancing to the state finals.
Freshman Kate Krolicki proved the Warriors have some good soccer years ahead of them with a semifinal hat trick. She led the 7-0 charge with three goals against Adelson on Friday.
"Kate Kardichi really had a solid game for us in the midfield. The wind was really bad and we were playing on a fast field, but she was able to control the ball," Kelly said. "Two of her goals were from beyond the 20-yard marker so she had a lot of good range shots that day."
Freshman Kenya Maltase and sophomores Cassandra Tracy and Jade Garcia-Paiz also recorded goals for the Warriors. Maltase was one of the leading Warrior scorers in her first year, ending with 14 goals and seven assists.
Senior Lauren Marshall added a little veteran expertise with a goal of her own. Marshall put up six goals this year.
Mikayla Warner came through with three assists against Adelson, and Jenny Shepack notched one assist. Shepack led the Warriors in points scored this year with 17 goals and 10 assists.
Gisselle Benitez and Kendal Ferris shared the shutout with one save each.
The championship game was a rematch of the regional finals where Whittell came away second against Incline. Injuries or not, the Warriors knew they were in for a tough match.
"They're a tough team. They play very well together," Kelly said. "They don't have too many weakness."
The girls defense held Incline to four, but the Warriors couldn't catch a break offensively.
"Losing three key people on the team was a downer, but the girls never quit. Even though we didn't come away with a championship, I was happy with how everyone played," Kelly said.
Senior Sierra Forvilly left her usual defensive post to play forward, and Maltase ran the field nonstop at sweeper.
"The girls just tried really hard. They played their heart out and never quit," Kelly said. "Even to the final whistle they were playing hard. I didn't care about the outcome as long we played hard."
The Warriors soccer team graduates Forvilly, Marshall, Nicki Simon and Jordan Addeo.