Botkins Trojans senior Carly Harshbarger (13) dribbles the ball Thursday in a Shelby County Athletic League varsity girls soccer match against the Anna Rockets. (Staff photo/Brad Frank)
ANNA -— As the Botkins Trojans gradually built their lead Thursday against the Anna Rockets, they kept their composure for the most part, knowing they were on the verge of doing what they were about to do.
By the match’s end, Botkins’ celebrations ensued before the handshake line formed, and after the two teams shook hands, the Botkins players were absolutely ecstatic about what they just accomplished.
Botkins beat Anna for the first time in its program’s history Thursday in a 3-0 win in a Shelby County Athletic League varsity girls soccer match in Anna.
Botkins’ win Thursday against Anna was its first in the six seasons of Trojans girls soccer.
“It’s a big win,” Botkins varsity coach Joe Welker said. “If I didn’t win any other games this year, I could be happy.”
The Trojans appeared on the scoreboard just minutes before halftime Thursday, as Botkins sophomore Kassidy Esser fought through two Anna defenders and pushed the ball into the back right corner of the net with 4:51 remaining in the first half.
“It was a quick turnaround, so we didn’t have a lot help,” Welker said. “She stayed with the ball, kept it low and on target.”
Botkins’ 1-0 halftime lead was insured in the second half by two goals from sophomore Natalie Ambos.
At 32:04 remaining in the second half, Ambos scored from nearly midfield after a foul by Anna.
Ambos, fewer than 25 minutes later, pulled off another goal following an Anna foul, this time from not nearly as far out.
Welker summarized what Ambos did on each of her goals.
“She looked over at me, because sometimes they’re not sure about who to take the kick,” Welker said. “I said, ‘quick, quick.’ She set the ball down, got her bearings, took her time and make a quality shot. She didn’t try to do too much or be too fancy. She put it on target in a rough spot for the keeper.
“She did that both times and almost did it a third time,” he said.
Botkins’ win Thursday was the team’s third of the season.
Following an 0-6-0 start to the season, the Trojans are unbeaten in their last six matches, with three wins and three ties.
“Everybody takes it rough,” Welker said Thursday about the season’s sluggish start. “We didn’t allow any goals today. The three games we won, we didn’t allow any goals.”
The Trojans will next play Saturday in a non-league home match against the Lincolnview Lancers.
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