Prep Soccer

Undefeated Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett girls' soccer off to best start in four-year history

Quintet of seniors who helped start girls' soccer program have Huskies at 5-0 after 1-0 shutout of Benton Community

Seniors, from left, Emma Slagle, Alicia Groothuis, Lexi Miller, Maggie Cach and Elisabeth Fields have the Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett girls’ soccer team at 5-0 this season, the best start in the four-year history of the program. (Photo by CVC/Alburnett girls’ soccer)
Seniors, from left, Emma Slagle, Alicia Groothuis, Lexi Miller, Maggie Cach and Elisabeth Fields have the Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett girls’ soccer team at 5-0 this season, the best start in the four-year history of the program. (Photo by CVC/Alburnett girls’ soccer)

ALBURNETT — They were there from the beginning, and their dedication has produced the best start in the four-year history of Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett girls’ soccer.

Five seniors — Maggie Cach, Elisabeth Fields, Alicia Groothuis, Lexi Miller and Emma Slagle — were on the girls’ soccer field when the cooperative agreement between the two schools began in 2015. Five games into Year 4, the group is undefeated after a 1-0 shutout of Benton Community Saturday at Martin Sports Complex.

“Right now, we’re on a high and we’re really trying to do as well as possible,” said Fields, who leads the team with five goals this season. “We’re very excited and we’re just trying to go as far as we can.”

Fields — who also plays girls’ basketball and volleyball for Cedar Valley Christian — broke a scoreless tie in the 62nd minute with a goal off an assist from freshman Sydney Crittenden. At 5-foot-3, opponents often underestimate the scoring ability of the senior forward.

“I kind of figure that nobody is going to really think that I am going to go down there,” Fields said with a laugh. “So it’s pretty fun.”

Cach and fellow senior Kayla Hospodarsky have split time in goal this season for a CVC/Alburnett defense that has posted four shutouts in a row. The last goal scored against the Huskies came in the season opener April 5 at West Liberty.

“We’re really strong this year,” said Slagle, a midfielder who leads the team with four assists. “Definitely the deepest team that we’ve had with a lot of subs coming off the bench that are just as good as people starting.”

This roster boasts 24 players this season and the number of schools represented increased to three with the addition of freshman Izzy Steffen from Isaac Newton Christian Academy.

The seniors have increased their win total in each season. Six wins as freshmen became eight two years ago. This year’s team looks like a threat to surpass the nine wins from last year.

“What makes them special is the fact that they’ve stuck it out,” CVC/Alburnett Coach Ron Slagle said. “It’s a character trait that they all have. … Three schools combine for one team and it is all about their character. … This is our best start ever because of their character, truly.”

CVC/Alburnett will try for a sixth win in a row when it hosts Mount Vernon (4-1) Thursday in Alburnett.

“We’re all really close and we’re all trying to play our best throughout this season,” Fields said. “Just make sure we just leave it all out there.”

AT ALBURNETT

Cedar Valley Christian/Alburnett 1, Benton Community 0

Goal — Elisabeth Fields 1 (5). Assist — Sydney Crittenden 1 (1).

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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