Whittell girls soccer bounces back, downs Battle Mountain, Pershing County
ZEPHYR COVE — After its first in-division defeat in two years, the Whittell girls soccer team got back on track. The Warriors rolled to home wins over Battle Mountain and Pershing County in consecutive days, Sept. 18 and 19, bouncing back in decisive fashion.
“Losing to North Tahoe really put us in the season,” Warriors forward Ali Copsy said. “Now we’re ready, now we know what we need to work on — we need to push it and we’re getting back together as a team.”
Whittell (4-1 Div. III) concluded its stretch of two matches in two days with a 7-1 win over Pershing County on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Warriors scored six unanswered goals after a back and forth start to handily defeat the Mustangs.
“Today was different than anything else,” Copsy said. “Today we were more of a team and it showed — it felt good.”
Both teams traded goals in the opening five minutes, with Gigi Stetler scoring for Whittell and Mikayla Renfroe finding the back of the net from distance for Pershing County. In the 15th minute, Alize Hernandez pounced on a rebound to break the 1-1 tie and put Whittell in front.
“Once our team starts realizing that we have the ability to get the intensity up, we start kicking it in gear,” Copsy said.
The Warriors added to their lead in the 29th minute when Anna White took a through ball from Madison Idso and snuck a shot nearside past the Mustangs goalkeeper. Then Copsy scored twice in a two-minute span to give Whittell a commanding 5-1 advantage at the break.
In the 35th minute, Copsy easily converted a one-on-one against Pershing County’s keeper. Two minutes after that the junior striker put away a cross from White with a one-touch finish off the outside of her left foot.
“That one just felt good,” Copsy said of the second goal.
After halftime, Whittell controlled play and added a pair of goals to punctuate the win. Copsy completed her hat trick with a one-on-one finish in the 56th minute, and White scored her second of the match with four minutes to play.
“I just know that I need to get it done,” Copsy said of one-on-one scoring chances. “This is your one chance to show people the kind of player you are, and you just have to get it — I go into it every time thinking that if I miss it, I’m done.”
On Friday, Sept. 18, Whittell rolled to a 7-0 shutout against Battle Mountain. Copsy, White and Stetler scored two goals apiece as the Warriors finished with their second clean sheet of the season — part of the match was played with 10 per side.
Whittell traveled to play Incline on Tuesday, Sept. 23, in a rematch of the last three Div. III state championship games. The Warriors return home Thursday, Sept. 24, to host Hug (Reno, Nev.) in a nonleague contest; the homecoming match is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.