Sports

Westphal studies up, saves Trojans in PKs

FHS junior Mahayla Mellott pushes the ball forward for the Trojans Thursday night at Dexter.
FHS junior Mahayla Mellott pushes the ball forward for the Trojans Thursday night at Dexter.
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While the Fairfield girls’ soccer team wasn’t able to accomplish their goal of avoiding a fourth overtime game in 10 days when they hosted Keokuk Thursday, sophomore goalie Trisha Westphal was able to carry her team to a 1-0 victory by first shutting out the visiting Chiefs and then stopping three of their penalty kicks in the decisive session.

Film study

“Yesterday I watched a bunch of videos on saving PKs, because they seem to happen quite a bit,” said the sophomore Westphal. “I just took some notes on what I could do and they worked.”

So what was her magical secret?

“If I just stand just off-center a little, they’re most likely going to shoot to the side that looks biggest, so I just picked my best side and dove that way and got them.”

When asked what’s she’s thinking as overtime approaches?

“I just keep encouraging my team so they can score, but as the minutes get near I start to prepare myself and I pray.”

Does that mean she now welcomes penalty kicks having done it four times in six games?

“I’m just hoping that it doesn’t happen again,” said the keeper with a laugh.

Improvements

“We were playing a lot more technically sound,” explained senior captain Bryanna Popejoy, “but now that we are playing better, it takes us a little more time to get things in motion. That’s not a bad thing because we will pick up the pace as everyone gets more comfortable. As our pace picks up, our intensity will increase so I’m not worried about that.”

Penalty Kicks

Clare Else, So., saved

Kara Jeffrey, Sr., goal

Bryanna Popejoy, Sr., goal

Emily McAvan, So., goal

shot not needed

Next

Monday at Columbus Community