Short-handed Blue Devils display grit in their ability to battle during loss to Titans

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JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — A counterattack, a cross and a goal by Chatham Glenwood all in the first 90 seconds of Thursday’s match left the Quincy High School girls soccer team reeling just a little.

“I thought, ‘Oh, no, how is this going to roll?’” Blue Devils coach Travis Dinkheller said.

Forced to alter the lineup with three starters missing, the Blue Devils dug in after the opening salvo and refused to allow the Titans to bury them, playing even the final 50 minutes of a 2-0 loss in a neutral site game at Illinois College.

Quincy (8-2-3) was coming off its first loss of the season — Tuesday’s 1-0 Western Big 6 Conference setback at Geneseo — and played without senior forward Breighlyn Thomas (ankle injury), senior defender Ava Soltwedel (concussion) and junior midfielder Rian Thomas (red card).

“I’m super pleased with how the girls battled,” Dinkheller said. “We had a lot of girls step up and play big minutes and play positions they weren’t necessarily comfortable with. In the circumstances they were facing, it was a character game. We had a lot of girls step in and do things we never asked them to do before.”

Glenwood sophomore Delaney Kyes scored in the second minute off a Savannah Bell assist, and Mia O’Neill scored off a Kyes assist in the 33rd minute, redirecting a shot with the outside outside of her right foot.

Quincy put together a string of chances in the second half, but Glenwood keeper Katie Bell stonewalled every attack, including parrying a shot over the crossbar in the final 10 minutes. Blue Devils keeper Taylor Fohey made eight saves.

“As a coach, you get in a situation where you get in a subbing routine and this game forced me to look at things differently,” Dinkheller said. “How are you going to sub? How are you going to utilize your personnel? It made me think about things that can make us better.

“I’m not into moral victories under any circumstances, but there were some small wins throughout that game that will make us better moving forward.”

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