E.A. Sports Today

Lily lights the lamp

Donoho junior Wiedmer scores hat trick, game-winner with 2:23 left, as Lady Falcons win the Class 1A-3A Area 6 crown

Constance Hodges (14) celebrates with her Donoho teammates after their 4-3 victory over Sacred Heart clinched an area title. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

When Lily Wiedmer was just starting to play soccer at Donoho she didn’t have a lot for the forwards. She was a fast and aggressive defender as a seventh-grader and in her mind the back line was where all the action was.

Now that she’s become one of them, she’s taking a different tack.

Wiedmer scored three goals Tuesday night, including the game-winner with 2:23 to play, to lift the Lady Falcons to a 4-3 win over Sacred Heart to secure their third area championship in five years and first since 2014.

After a rematch with the Lady Cardinals Wednesday, the Lady Falcons (15-2) will host Westbrook Christian in a first-round playoff game Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

The hat trick gave Wiedmer 29 of the team’s 97 goals this season.

“I don’t know what’s with me this season,” she said.

The gradual move through the lineup has finally landed her in the forward’s role. After playing on the backline, she played in the midfield last year and got a taste for scoring goals.

“She’s really been learning on the fly this season,” Lady Falcons coach Jay Jenkins said, “but she’s figured it out.”

Wiedmer scored twice in a seven-minute stretch midway through the first half that gave the Lady Falcons a 2-1 halftime lead. Her third goal capped a rally in which Donoho scored twice in the final eight and a half minutes to erase a 3-2 deficit.

Sacred Heart’s Abby Vingers opened the scoring five minutes into the game on a shot that rolled along the crossbar before dropping into the goal. Ayomide Sanusi and Vingers scored eight minutes apart early in the second half to give Sacred Heart its second lead of the night and raise doubts of the outcome in Wiedmer’s head.

The game-winner came when Wiedmer converted Sonny Jenkins’ corner kick by angling her body in such a way as to redirect the kick between Lady Cardinals keeper Megan Lott and the right goalpost. Jenkins tied the game she tucked a shot between Lott and the post with 8:22 to play.

“For a little bit I actually did not think it would go our way,” Wiedmer said. “When it was 3-2, I really thought we may lose this game. I wanted a goal. I had been so close so many times just barely missing the post, so when I saw that ball, had that chance, I didn’t even think about it, I just redirected it and praise the Lord it went in. If not, I’m sure we’d be playing overtime right now.”

“We’ve got a temperament about our team that we’re just not going to be denied,” Jenkins said. “It showed again tonight.”

While the win clinched an area title for the Lady Falcons, it put Sacred Heart’s back against the wall. The Lady Cardinals (11-3) have to win Wednesday night’s rematch to make the state tournament.

If they win, they would tie Glencoe for second in the 1A-3A Area 6 standings, but hold the tiebreaker on aggregate scoring. If they lose, Glencoe gets the spot.

“I’m hoping this convinces them, inspires them, to go in strong from the beginning,” Sacred Heart coach Caitlin Perkins said. “That’s been our problem the last couple games, we start out slow. We’ve got to get behind and that jumpstarts us, and that’s killing us.

“If we had not been behind, it wouldn’t have come to this. The first 20 minutes of the game we were kind of sitting back on our heels and that’s all it takes when you’re playing a team this close. The girls know (the situation). All I can do is say this is what we need to do and hope they’re going to get out there and motivate each other to do it. A positive outlook is what we need.”

Donoho 4, Sacred Heart 3
Sacred Heart 1 2 — 3
Donoho 2 2 — 4

First-half goals: Abby Vingers (SH), 4:48; Lily Wiedmer (D), 11:50; Lily Wiedmer (D), 18:53.
Second half goals: Ayomide Sanusi (SH), 41:57; Abby Vingers (SH), 49:40; Sonny Jenkins (D), 71:38; Lily Wiedmer (D), 77:37.

Sacred Heart’s Abby Vingers (R) pushes a shot through Donoho keeper Campbell Hagan to give the Lady Cardinals a 3-2 lead in the second half. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

On the cover: Lily Wiedmer (9) scored three goals, including the game-winner with 2:23 to play, to give Donoho an area-clinching 4-3 victory over Sacred Heart. To see more B.J. Franklin photos from the game go to www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

You must be logged in to post a comment Login