Lady Hawks get first-ever post-season win

Emma Seitz gets winning goal off corner kick rebound


MEDIAPOLIS — Antonio Estrada clapped away the final seconds of one of the biggest wins in Central Lee’s young girls soccer history.
The coach’s release of tension after the Hawks’ 1-0 win over Mediapolis in Wednesday’s Class 1A Region 1 quarterfinal was certainly understandable. It was the program’s first postseason win in its sixth-year history after the last two seasons of near-misses.
The Hawks lost 1-0 to Mid-Prairie last season and 3-2 to Washington in 2022 to open regional play, so to escape this one meant a lot to Estrada.
“It’s always been by one score,” Estrada said of the recent postseason defeats. “We’ve always been dominant every time, but just couldn’t get that win, and this time we were on the winning side.
“It’s huge for our program, because it took us six years to get that first regional win. It feels good. You could tell the girls were really excited, because we get to move on.”
The Hawks (6-4), guaranteed their third consecutive winning season, advance to play at top-ranked Davenport Assumption next Tuesday.
“They’re No. 1 in the state, and they’re always No. 1 in the state, always really good,” Estrada said of his team’s next opponent. “But it was good to get this win. Hopefully this is something we can build on.”
The Hawks’ lone goal came late in the first half, when Emma Seitz scored off the rebound from a corner kick with 10:57 left to play. Getting that goal that early allowed Central Lee to keep pressuring the Bullettes (9-6).
“They move the ball well — they attack in numbers,” Estrada said. “There was a lot of pressure on our defense to stop them. But I thought our defense really stepped up, stopping them from attacking and getting a lot of shots on goal.”
The Bullettes never got a lot of open looks at the net, and when they did get shots Central Lee goalkeeper Adi Robinson came up with the saves.
“I think she had one or two saves that were very, very important,” Estrada said. “The defense was just so huge throughout the game. The effort was there, and you have to be happy for them to have that kind of game.
“I think they were trying to play the ball out wide. They were efficient at getting the ball down the field, but whenever they tried to get the ball inside, we were really good at stopping them.”
The Bullettes had two final chances, including a corner kick, in the last two minutes of the match, but never did get an opening.
“I was a little nervous,” Estrada said. “They really wanted it, you could tell they wanted it. But, again, our defense stepped up and stopped them. And that was huge for us.”

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