Girls soccer: Indian Creek claims regional title with late lockdown defense against Oregon

Turner, Wilson score goals for Timberwolves in win over Hawks

The Indian Creek girls soccer team celebrates after the team's 2-1 win against Oregon to claim the Class 1A Indian Creek Regional championship on Friday, May 12, 2023 in Waterman. The regional crown is the first for the Timberwolves since 2014.

WATERMAN – The Indian Creek girls soccer team had a one-win season more recently than its last regional title.

That changed on Friday when the Timberwolves knocked off Oregon 2-1 to win the Class 1A Indian Creek Regional for the program’s first regional crown since 2014.

“We’ve been working on this a lot, going from a program that barely had enough people, to now we have a lot of freshmen who have been playing very well and we’ve got a full squad,” Indian Creek junior defender Paige Feitlich said. “We’ve been working hard in practice. It’s really good.”

The Timberwolves (16-1-1) went 1-12-1 in 2019 and 5-7-1 in 2021. Their 8-7-1 showing last year was their first winning season since 2018. This is the most wins for the Indian Creek program since at least 2007.

“Honestly it’s a relief right now.”

—  Scott McClure, Indian Creek soccer coach

Last year’s season ended with a loss to Rock Island Alleman in a regional final. Alleman will join Byron and Indian Creek in the Class 1A Hinckley-Big Rock Sectional next week. The Timberwolves will play Saturday’s Stillman Valley-Winnebago winner at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Honestly it’s a relief right now,” Indian Creek coach Scott McClure said. “We worked really hard to get to this game. We got to this game last year and we played a really tough team. To get back here and try to get a little redemption and make it into the next round, we’re just really pumped to do that.”

All the scoring in the game happened in a stretch of less than 10 minutes in the first half. In the ninth minute, Indian Creek’s Isabella Turner launched a beautiful cross from the right side of the field to Emma Turner, who headed the ball in from the left side for a 1-0 Timberwolves’ lead.

The Hawks (11-6-2) answered in the 15th minute. Alyssa Mowry took a feed in the center of the field, got free at the top of the box and fired a shot to the left side of the net to tie things up.

IC scored the last goal of the game in the 18th minute. Emma Wilson was surrounded by four Oregon defenders but still found a crease to fire off a shot to the right of the goalie and in for the 2-1 lead.

McClure said he liked the way his Timberwolves answered after Oregon got the equalizer.

“We were just able to get one more and play tough D,” McClure said. “Our defense just played out of this world today. They kept us in the lead and in the game.”

Oregon lost to Indian Creek 4-1 earlier this year. Hawks coach Seger Larson said they were focused on taking away the cross and the through-balls, and aside from the early one his team did well.

“We played our butts off,” Larson said. “They beat us early in the year 4-1, and for long periods of that game I thought we outplayed them. They got the two goals and we couldn’t put the other ones in the back of the next. Defensively I thought our game plan completely worked and we did enough to win the game. But today was their day.”

Larson said he was pleased with the way the season went for the Hawks.

“We’ve got a young group of girls coming up behind these seniors,” Larson said. “These seniors did a good job of leading and showing what we expect as a program going forward.”

The Hawks had about a 10-minute stretch late in the game during which they dominated possession, but the Timberwolves were able to keep them from getting off many clean shots. For the last five minutes, IC was in control of the ball.

“Especially when it’s the end of the second half, you’re tired so you think ‘Oh, that girl is not going to get the ball,’” Feitlich said. “So you dog for an extra second or you walk. I tell them you get to the ball as quick as you can. That’s what’s going to push us over the edge.”

Indian Creek moved to 1-1-1 in one-goal games this year. Nine of the Timberwolves’ games this year were decided by three goals or more. Feitlich, who almost scored on a header in the 76th minute, said notching a close win is big heading into the sectional.

“This proves we can push even when we’re [up] by only one,” Feitlich said. “We’re not just a team that can score a bunch of goals. We can defend, control the midfield and everything else.”

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