It’s not the typical year in the Four Rivers Conference.
Frequently, the league title comes down to the second contest between Union and Pacific. But this year, the title was secured before league champ Union defeated the Lady Indians Monday, 8-1.
Union (14-3, 6-0) added to its FRC winning record in the match at Union Middle School while Pacific fell to 4-12 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
“We secured the outright title with the win,” said Union Head Coach Matt Fennessey. “We took care of business. I think that’s nine years in a row for us now.”
Union plays its final FRC match Tuesday against St. Clair before closing out the regular season with a match Thursday against Farmington with one half of junior varsity action starting at 5 p.m.
Pacific played Tuesday at St. James to conclude the regular season. The Lady Indians take on St. Clair Saturday at Borgia to open district play. The contest starts at noon.
In Monday’s contest, Union opened with three goals in the first half and five in the second.
“Overall, I’m happy with the way we played,” Fennessey said. “It was a good win for the Lady ’Cats.”
The Coons sisters, Alyssa and Bethany, each had two goals and two assists for the Lady ’Cats.
“They’re hitting on all cylinders right now,” Fennessey said.
Kaylyn Bigley scored two goals.
“The second goal came from a cross by Taylor Gaebe,” Fennessey said. “Gaebe was maybe three feet from the sideline and she pinged one to the back post. Kaylyn was there and headed it in. It was one of the best goals we’ve scored this season.”
Bigley’s second goal came from a shot placed to the far post.
Abbie Brack netted a goal and added an assist. Maline Davis also scored once while Gaebe assisted on two goals.
“It was nice to have different players score,” Fennessey said. “Abbie Brack scored her first goal of the season and Maline added one, too. It was a good game for us.”
Briana Lakebrink saved 12 of the 13 shots she faced.
Fennessey also praised Bri Clark and Kayla Thornton.
“We knocked the ball around well for the first 20 minutes and then Union took advantage of our missed marks,” Pacific Head Coach Sarah Schultz said. “We were down two of our starters and other players playing through their injuries.”
Pacific scored its goal to Union’s five in the second half.
“Amber Zurliene had a great goal in the last half to keep us from getting shut out,” Schultz said. My girls are showing a lot of passion for the game and I am so proud to be coaching them.”
Fennessey said Zurliene placed her shot perfectly.
“We had people moved around late in the game and we ended up giving up a goal,” said Fennessey. “They had a corner kick and we cleared the ball. She was hanging out outside the box and hit a clean shot when the ball came to her. She shot from about 25 yards out. It was a well-placed hard shot.”