Cassopolis advances to district soccer semifinals

Published 8:21 pm Monday, June 6, 2011

Cassopolis hosted River Valley in the first round of the District 4 soccer tournament Tuesday and the Rangers poured it on with an 8-0 conquest of the Mustangs.

A rain delay of an hour just before intermission delayed the mercy rule for the Rangers as they held a 4-0 advantage with half of the goals coming from senior Bjargey Olafsson.

River Valley (3-14) scored the first goal for Cassopolis (12-3-2) after 2:28 as a defenseman’s clear went behind senior teammate Jessica Kersey.

The first legitimate score for the Rangers occurred when sophomore Jessica Waldschmidt dribbled the ball through three Mustangs to drill a shot to dent the net almost halfway through the first half for a 2-0 lead.

Olafsson scored twice within five minutes of each other with Waldschmidt assisting on the first and sophomore Meagan Ruff doing all the work on the second by dribbling practically the entire field to watch her shot get blocked by Kersey onto the waiting foot of Olafsson.

“Our defense was spectacular by fighting the wind in the first half and some girls are playing through some injuries and hanging in there tough,” commented Cassopolis coach Oli Olafsson. “I am very pleased as the team matured from last year by playing very well in the first district game.”

After the lightning and rain delay, Waldschmidt completed her hat trick by kicking a missile from a 25-yard direct kick five seconds before the second intermission and then 40 seconds into the second half converted after a pass from Ruff to lengthen the lead to 6-0 for the Rangers.

The sophomores reversed the roles on the next score as Ruff capitalized from a Waldschmidt corner kick and then found the lower right corner of the net on a penalty kick with 2:18 showing on the scoreboard to finish the River Valley season.

“Cass is a good team and they look like they are fired up to go and probably will win districts as we have played everybody and they are the most solid with size and passing,” stated River Valley coach Shawn Beach. “This was a tough year as we lost three players we were counting on for various reasons, but was proud how the last three games we fought hard and got beat by only one goal each time.”

The Rangers had a commanding 36-5 margin in shots with a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks. Kersey had eight saves in each half for the Mustangs with Cassopolis sophomore Molly Moroz neglecting four potential River Valley tallies.

Cassopolis will next face Michigan Lutheran, which is ranked in the top 10 in Division 4 today on the Lake Michigan Catholic home field in Benton Harbor at 4 p.m.

“Last year we lost by one goal to Michigan Lutheran in the tournament, but we are a much better team this year,” noted Olafsson.  “We had a very good record with the schedule we had plus how young we are.”

Scoring Summary

First Half

CA – own goal 3rd minute

CA – Jessica Waldschmidt 19th minute

CA – Bjargey Olafsson 21st minute (assist Waldschmidt)

CA – Olafsson 26th minute

CA – Waldschmidt 40th minute

Shots:  Cassopolis 16, River Valley 4

Saves:  Molly Moroz (CA) 3, Jessica Kersey (RV) 8

Corner kicks: Cassopolis 3, River Valley 1

Second Half

CA – Waldschmidt 41st minute (assist Meagan Ruff)

CA – Ruff 61st minute (assist Wadschmidt)

CA – Ruff 78th minute

Shots: Cassopolis 20 (36), River Valley 1 (5)

Saves: Moroz 1 (4), Kersey 8 (16)

Corner kicks: Cassopolis 6 (9), River Valley 0 (1)

Records: Cassopolis  12-3-2,  River Valley 3-14