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Chargers take Frankfort out in sectional

GOOD JOB: Frankfort captains Liz Cruz Sandoval and Maria Alanis (16) go through the handshake line with the game officials after the Hot Dogs lost 3-1 to North Montgomery in the first round of the Crawfordsville Class 2A Sectional. Alanis, a senior, scored Frankfort's only game in her final high school match.

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

Frankfort exited the Crawfordsville Class 2A girls soccer sectional with a 3-1 loss to North Montgomery, with the Hot Dogs feeling positive about the matchup going in.

“Going back to the first time we played North Montgomery (a 5-3 loss in the regular season), we didn’t play very well,” Frankfort head coach Isaac Field said. “We played about a half of soccer and that was about it.”

“Really, it was one of those that if we had played a full game we would have won and we were kind of excited when we saw the draw happen and we got the chance to play it again. We definitely felt that we left the game for the taking and we didn’t play up to our full potential.

“That’s been kind of the theme of the season not living up to our potential,” he added.

After starting the season 3-1-1, the Hot Dogs lost their final nine matches, but had reason for optimism after losing a tight 1-0 game to Sagamore Conference champion Danville in the regular-season finale.

“It was honestly one of the best games we played all year,” Field said. “It was definitely in the top three when we played Danville to a 1-0 loss on senior night, and we had opportunities. We had four or five clear cut chances to score, but we just couldn’t capitalize.

“We played an absolutely wonderful game against Danville and we felt that if we had played that way tonight we definitely had a chance to win.”

Things looked good as the Hot Dogs played the Chargers to a 1-1 tie at halftime.

“We gave them the goal about 10 minutes in (with Sidney Campbell scoring),” Field said. “It wasn’t anything to crazy or awful. It just managed to find the back of the net.

“We got another one back where we were tied 1-1 going into halftime. About 20 minutes in off a corner kick, Maria Alanis got a goal. It was a good ball by Ari (Regalado on the corner), Mia (Hernandez) got a little bit of a flick off it (on a header) and Maria ended up being able to get it into the back of the net.

“It worked out beautifully,” Field said. “It gave us some momentum. We had a few other opportunities in the first half but couldn’t capitalize.”

The Chargers went up 2-1 about 15 minutes into the second half on a goal by Teegan Bacon that Field blamed on a lack of communication by his team.

“Two of our defenders and our goalie, just three of them right there to stop a goal and none of them did because they assumed the other one was getting it,” he said. “The last one (again by Bacon) was just us being out of position and pressing and trying to be overly aggressive because we had to get a goal back because there is no such thing as a tie at this point.”

“We had plenty of time,” he added after the first goal. “We had plenty of opportunities in the second half. We definitely played better in the second half the first time and this time as well and really all credit to their goalie (Sydnee Turner).

“… We had a lot of shots there. Some of them were right at her and those are the ones you expect goalies to make, but then there were some saves she made where she just made a great save. She definitely kept them in the game.”

Alanis finished her senior season with seven goals and 23 overall, giving her the fifth highest total all-time at Frankfort. Junior Liz Cruz Sandoval had 15 goals this season and 28 overall, behind two former Hot Dogs with 29 and 28 from the school record.

After the match, Field told his team that he appreciated that they competed throughout the season.

“This team definitely showed that they never gave up even when things weren’t going their way,” he said later. “I don’t think I ever saw negative body language or overly negative attitudes towards teammates. They kept that team mindset and that grit to try to finish which is something that not every team does.”

“It’s a testament to what the seniors brought to the program. Teams take the identities of their seniors and they did this year by not backing down and never quitting.”

Frankfort loses 11 seniors including Alanis.

“There’s a lot,” Field said. “A lot of them are three- and four-year starters and if they weren’t starters they were key subs off the bench or started part-time.

“Even if they didn’t see the varsity field, their contributions have definitely been seen and felt this season with the way they’ve taught their underclassmen how to play the game and represent Frankfort.”