On a team where the attention often centers on underclassmen, it was a Republic senior who delivered the golden goal in a Senior Night victory over Willard. Sadie Stevens booted home the game-winner with her left foot, finding the left side of the net in overtime to give Republic a 2-1 win.
“We got a breakaway and Mikayla (Jester) slid me in the ball,” says Stevens. “I took a touch on it and connected it, and somehow it went in. I don’t even really know how it happened, but it was awesome.”
Coach Mike Hines says he’s happy to see the seniors have success, especially because they are so new to the game.
“None of them have ever, until last year, played the game before,” says Hines. “It’s such a wonderful think to see them fall in love with something like they have. For them to come together and have an evening like this, it’s really special.”
Stevens says the team’s camaraderie off the field has contributed to its success.
“I think it’s because we all get along so well. We have an awesome coach and we’re kind of like a huge family,” she says. “I think that’s one reason we play so well together and we’re winning games this year.”
Another senior–goalkeeper Amanda Snider–played a big role in the victory. Snider was under pressure most of the night, but allowed only one early goal.
Willard broke on top eight minutes into the game, and outplayed Republic much of the night. But Samantha Minor scored on a corner kick with an assist by Sara Marcotte to tie the game just before halftime. The score stayed 1-1 until Stevens’ goal about five minutes into the 10-minute overtime period.
The win boosts Republic’s record to 13-7.