NORTH VERNON — The Jennings County girls soccer team honored its seniors Tuesday night against Hoosier Hills Conference foe Columbus East, but it was an East freshman who stole the show.
Alana Dwenger scored two goals with one assist in a 5-0 shutout against the Panthers. The Olympians scored four goals in the first 20 minutes.
“In the first half, we played beautiful soccer,” East coach Illya Schwartzman said. “Beautiful possession soccer, and the passing defense was on. It was the best half of soccer we had all season, so I was very, very pleased.”
Sarah Park scored off an Annie Bastian assist in the seventh minute, and Maya Federle assisted to Dwenger in the 13th. Dwenger returned the assist back to Federle in the 18th minute before scoring her second goal two minutes later off an Addy Galarno assist.
“Dwenger is coming along,” Schwartzman said. “She is figuring things out, and she’s a very good player. She’s going to do a lot of great things. She coming into her own and had a very solid game.”
The Olympians (4-4-1, 4-0) kept the ball on the Jennings side of the field for much of the first half. The Panthers (6-7, 2-3) allowed only one East goal in the second half, which came in the final minute when Lindsey Stoughton assisted to Kamebry Wagner.
“Our second half effort was something that I can’t take away from my kids,” Jennings coach Kate Gray said. “I thought they came out and played a much better second half. We strung some things together and played soccer as well as we can, not being full strength.”
The Panthers have been plagued with injuries all season, playing just one game with their complete roster. The Pappenheim twins, Katie and Kayla, have both been out with concussions for the past two games.
“We have potential; we just have to get everybody healthy,” Gray said. “We’re constantly telling our kids ‘The next man up — we need you to step up.’ That’s allowing for a little bit of growth in our younger kids, but it’s really taxing my other starters.”
The Olympians are undefeated in the HHC, and Dwenger said doing well in the conference is always important to the team.
“The Hoosier Hills victory is important to us ….” Dwenger said. “We just want to continue winning and continue that streak.”
East goalkeeper Jenny Bastian had two saves on Jennings’ two shots on goal. Kenna Maschino had one save for the Panthers, and Mariah Grider had three saves on the Olympians’ nine shots on goal.