Lopsided WB6 victory helps prep Blue Devils for upcoming gauntlet of tough tests


Quincy High School forward Kenzie O'Brien, left, attacks Sterling defender Maria Garcia during the first half of Monday's Western Big 6 Conference game at Flinn Stadium. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The lopsided nature of Monday’s Western Big 6 Conference game suggested there wasn’t much for the Quincy High School girls soccer team to gain from its effort.

Reality proved otherwise.

The 12-0 victory over Sterling at Flinn Stadium kept the Blue Devils undefeated through eight games, a significant fact when it comes time to vote for postseason seeding. It also enabled the Blue Devils to use their entire bench, getting underclassmen better prepared for more meaningful varsity minutes should they be needed.

Above all else, it built additional momentum and continuity before heading into a gauntlet of tough tasks.

“It’s going to be a really competitive schedule from here on out,” junior midfielder Bri Lannerd said with the Blue Devils bracing to play seven games in 11 days against teams with the first four against teams currently with a 19-4 combined record.

“These games are really going to test us, see how strong we are and push us toward everything we’re working for. It’s going to challenge us.”

It’s needed. The Blue Devils are 4-0 in their last four games, having outscored their opponents 22-1 and outshooting their last two opponents by more than 40 shots combined. 

In fact, Quincy has outscored its eight opponents by a combined total of 27-2.

“It’s making us want to continue to keep winning games and playing at that level,” center back Maddie O’Brien said after the Blue Devils improved to a 6-0-2 overall and 4-0 in the WB6. “You’ve already started off this strong, you might as well play that way all the way to the end.”

Once the Blue Devils got the ball rolling Monday, the scoring didn’t stop. Lannerd scored five goals, while O’Brien and senior center back Ava Soltwedel each scored their first career goals. 

“We kind of started off slow, just kind of sitting there,” Maddie O’Brien said. “Once we started racking up the goals, the energy came with it.”

Everyone got involved as everyone on the QHS roster played significant minutes.

“It’s really good for everyone to get touches on the ball, for everyone to get their confidence building up,” Lannerd said. “Our bench has helped us so much this year, and we have so many good girls on our team.”

With the Blue Devils chasing postseason success, contributions for everyone are welcome.

“We lift each other up with a lot of positive energy,” O’Brien said. “There’s a lot of camaraderie. We want to get after it. We want to get it done.”

The Blue Devils are disciplined, too. It showed in how they attacked without letting things get loose and out of control.

“We talked about not turning and just trying to dribble through, but maintaining possession and making the right runs,” QHS coach Travis Dinkheller said. “For the most part, our girls stayed pretty disciplined. They were crossing the ball. They were being unselfish. They were sharing the ball. I give them credit for that.

“The reality is we have to be unselfish to be successful in the regional complex we’re in. We have to have a lot of people willing to step up. It’s nice we’re scoring goals. Going into the gauntlet of games we have coming up, we’re going in relatively fresh and relatively healthy.”

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