Corner kicks end Jordan's historic season
The Jordan's girls soccer team found itself in a corner from which it could not escape.
Leesville Road sophomore sensation Mackenzie Dipper made sure of that, getting a hat trick to seal a 3-2 win over the Falcons on Tuesday night in an NCHSAA 4-A third round game.
“I think we did a good job of shutting them down in the first half,” said Jordan senior defender Shelby Hicks, who scored one of the Falcons’ two goals. “They got us on the corner kicks. We just couldn’t stay on our marks.”
Dipper, who had her second three-goal game of the season, was devastating on the corners. She scored twice on headers and once on a penalty kick.
“On the first one I was on the keeper and I just came off and nobody was marking me,” Dipper said. “And the last one the defender just stopped defending and I just kept going. I guess they miscommunicated.”
“I couldn’t find someone to (match) that level of aggression to mark that particular player,” Jordan coach Sarah Kaneko said of Dipper. “She was wide open.”
It was the second consecutive year Leesville Road stopped Jordan in the playoff march. This year, the Pride ended Jordan’s record-setting season that included a PAC 6 4-A conference co-championship.
“I think we put up a good fight and got a couple in while we could, Hicks said. “I’m actually pretty proud of the team. This is the first time the Jordan girls ever made it past the second round in all of Jordan history.”
Down 3-1 late in the game, Hicks gave Jordan a fleeting spark of hope with her goal. Junior forward Millicent Blivin scored the other Jordan goal.
“Millie’s was well executed,” Kaneko said. “Millie has consistently scored well with us off the header from corner kicks and she’s really good in the box.”
That was Jordan’s first corner and came shortly after the game started.
“But as soon as it was 1-1 we kind of lost our intensity,” Kaneko said.
She said the Falcons are a “really quick team” when it comes to foot speed, but played on their heels against Leesville Road.
“We didn’t possess the ball as well as we normally do. I don’t know whether it was nerves or excitement, but just a lot of kicking the ball hoping someone would get it rather than possessing forward,” Kaneko said. “But otherwise I think we played pretty well. Corners is where we broke down tonight.”
Leesville Road had 13 shots on goal and got nine saves from junior goalkeeper Zaria Maynard. Jordan senior goalkeeper and captain Rachel Baran had 12 saves.
LEESVILLE ROAD 3, JORDAN 2
Leesville Road 1 2 -- 3
Jordan 1 1 -- 2
Goals – Leesville Road, Mackenzie Dipper 3. Jordan, Millicent Blivin, Shelby Hicks.
Records -- Leesville Road 18-4-1, Jordan 16-3-2