The girls Class A state soccer championship game Oct. 16 had a number of scenarios. West Central had won twice during the year, both 1-0. Could they overcome the athletic challenge of beating the same team three times in one season?

Dakota Valley was the newbie in the soccer championship. West Central won their first state title before DV even started soccer.

West Central’s first goal came early as USD commit Rylee Haldeman beat the DV defender. It was her 17th goal of the season.

While West Central controlled the ball in the first half, DV made strides in the second.

The Panthers scored at the 22:59 mark in the second half when freshman Emma Deacon made a penalty kick. Rylee Rosenquist and Claire Hemmingsen had made runs up the right side. The penalty came after a Rosenquist throw-in when a West Central defender raised her hand inside the penalty box.

West Central got a free kick at the 5:31 mark after a foul was called. Replay shows no one was set, but the referee allowed the kick and Haldeman made a quick kick just beyond the reach of Ivey Winckler. It ended up being the game winner.

Reportedly, color commentator Steve Cogley, longtime Aberdeen Central boys soccer coach, said it was the fastest kick he had seen.

Winckler had several key saves. She went into the game with a 129 saves on the season.

Six seniors capped a career of building the program – Rosenquist, Winckler, Grace Bass, Brooke Carlson, Izzy Linden and Kacey McCabe.

“First, I’d like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to coach soccer,” head coach Jesse Castillo said. “I am thankful to be able to be a part of this program and great community. Though the outcome was not what we wanted, being able to accomplish a state runner-up 5 years from where we first started is a huge accomplishment.

“I am happy where the program is,” Castillo said. “I am happy about the growth I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. We entered the season inexperienced and we walk out State Runner up. We got a bit of a taste at what a state championship tournament looks like in South Dakota and we are hungrier now.”

“Jessie [Castillo] had done a great job getting those players to play hard,” West Central coach Greg Andersen told the Times. “They will have the opportunity to play for another championship. Ivey [Winckler] has played well all season. She has helped keep DV in games all season. She has great technique and was an important player on their team.”