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Golden Eagles dominate Huron in girls’ victory

Aberdeen Central’s Abby Witte, center, takes a shot on goal between Huron’s Naw Htoo Ywe, left and So Ro Paw, right, during Tuesday’s match at the Brownell Athletic Complex. Witte scored on the kick. Photo by John Davis taken 8/30/2022

In what could have been considered a trap game, Aberdeen Central wasn’t falling for it.

The unbeaten Golden Eagles set the tone early and rolled to an 11-0 victory over Huron in an Eastern South Dakota Conference girls’ soccer contest Tuesday afternoon at Brownell Activities Complex.

“The girls just did what we needed to do,” said Central coach Merle Aske. “Sometimes you just have to get the work in. We tried to work as best we could.”

Huron, which is still in search of its first victory, was unable to slow down the Golden Eagles, who exploded for five goals in the first 21 minutes of the contest.

“Our coaches always tell us that we need to get better every single game,” said Central’s Abby Witte, “and just because it’s an opponent that we think might be easier, it doesn’t mean that we can take our feet off the gas because we have harder opponents coming up.”

Witte topped the Central scoring barrage with three goals, including back-to-back goals two minutes apart in the opening half.

She booted goals into the back of the net with each of her feet.

“I think I get more power with my right, but I’m more accurate with my left,” Witte said, “and in a game like this you just want to get it in.”

The Golden Eagles received two goals apiece from Kailyn Poppen, Deshani Peters and Addyson Salfrank.

Aberdeen Central’s Addyson Salfrank (3) gets hugged by teammates Ryelynn Hammer (2) and Kamryn Arnesen, right, after Salfrank scored a goal during Tuesday’s match against Huron at the Brownell Athletic Complex. Photo by John Davis taken 8/30/2022

Central controlled the possession from start to finish, working the ball around to get high-percentage shots.

“The connections and stuff are good,” Aske said, “now we just have to get to the point where when we’re under pressure those connections are still there.”

The Eagles will likely feel some of that pressure when they hit the road Saturday to take on Brandon Valley.

“That will be a big game for us,” Aske said. “Their field is a little narrower than ours, so it will be a good opportunity for us to get out and get some work done.”

Witte said the field dimensions make a big difference in soccer.

“When you’re playing a wing, like a forward, and you’re playing on a wider or longer field, it’s a lot more running out and backpedaling to get to the line,” she said.

The Eagles are now 5-0-1 halfway through the season. Central also had a solid regular season last year before falling at home in the playoffs.

“We know that we need to start peaking later in the season, so we need to build from here,” Witte said. “We kind of have a tougher schedule in the middle, so we know that we need to grind it out in the middle and then get ready for the post season.”

While Central has yet to lose a game so far, Aske said the team doesn’t talk about its record.

“We just let that run its course. We talk about the next opponent, the next game and just get the girls focused on what the next mission is,” Aske said. “Brandon will be a good athletic team. They’ve got a lot of seniors. Now we just have to make sure that we’re focused and ready to go.”

Huron 0 0 – 0

Aberdeen Central 8 3 – 11

First Half

1, AC, Kailyn Poppen, 4th minute; 2, AC, Deshani Peters, 9th minute; 3, AC, Abby Witte (Peters, Eliana Aberle), 11th minute; 4, Witte (Poppen), 13th minute; 5, AC, Addyson Salfrank, 22nd minute; 6, AC, Salfrank, 25th minute; 7, AC, Peters (Poppen), 27th minute; 8, Madyson Gillen (corner kick), 35th minute.

Second Half

9, Poppen (Witte), 46th minute; 10, AC, Makylie Miller; 11, AC, Witte (Salfrank), 53rd minute.

Shots on Goal: Huron 0; Aberdeen Central 20.

Goalies: Huron Hkee Hser (5 saves), Ae Si Lar (4 saves); Aberdeen Central, Taylor Thorstenson (0 saves), Addyson Keller (0 saves).

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