McCutcheon junior Rachel Williams stepped out of the locker room prior to practice last week to be interviewed.
“What are the questions going to be about?” Williams asked.
Williams was told that the first question would be about last year’s girls soccer sectional championship match.
“Oh gosh,” she said.
As far in the past as it might seem, Harrison’s come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory against the Mavericks still stings. It has been a driving force behind McCutcheon’s drive to win the title in 2012.
“I think we want to play Harrison most because we want to show them that we can beat them, but I’ve had a lot of people ask me if we are going to beat them in the sectional championship and if this is going to be our year,” senior Megan Albregts said. “It kind of motivates us a little bit.”
Harrison and McCutcheon are on opposite sides of the sectional bracket. McCutcheon plays Twin Lakes in the semifinal on Thursday.
McCutcheon led 2-0 at halftime in last year’s sectional championship. Less than five minutes into the second half, the match was tied. Ryley Bugay’s overtime goal ended McCutcheon’s 2011 season at 9-8-1, the first winning record for the program.
“We did kind of have that idea in our head (that we were going to win) and maybe we didn’t come out as strong in the second half, thinking we kind of had it,” junior Elizabeth Burton said. “That’s what happened. They came out strong and ended up scoring.”
Thirteen letterwinners returned this year determined to build off that success. Most of the team has been playing together since they were five. Now the group wants to go out as champions.
“I feel that since we’ve been together for so long; let’s finish this out for the 10 seniors,” senior goalkeeper Ashley Reed said. “It will be the last time we’ll be together on a team. We’ve grown up together.”
Things are going in the right direction. After regular-season losses to West Lafayette in the final minute and Harrison, coach Jason Donkersloot looked at the remaining schedule to see where the Mavericks might be able to secure victories and attain another winning record.
Reed compiled a shutout and Williams scored on a penalty kick last Wednesday and McCutcheon upset No. 10 Westfield to improve to 9-8. With the win came a needed confidence boost going into this week’s Class 2A Harrison Sectional, which begins Tuesday with the defending champion Raiders hosting Frankfort.