Trojans advance to regional semifinal

The Fairfield girls soccer team defeated PCM 2-1 Thursday night at FHS in the first round of the Class 2A region 5 bracket, setting up a regional semifinal Tuesday May 29 at Mt. Pleasant versus the 11-5 Panthers.

The Trojans have had a busy week while winning three of their last four games, all during the past seven days, improving their season mark to 8-8 and returning it to .500 or better for the first time since a 5-0 loss at Fort Madison May 1 dropped their record to 5-5.

Senior Kristen Burnstedt scored both times for Fairfield and said she?s ?absolutely not? tired of scoring and added that ?There?s always a thrill in scoring a goal.?

Her first netter was a breakaway where she beat the defender and then placed the ball in the bottom right corner of the goal.

Burnstedt?s all-time favorite goal came in the form of the game-winner and her 84th career score when the box was congested and the goalie wandered way out.

?Alie Kensett had the ball and she passed it to me at the top of the box and I chipped it over the goalie and it just soared into the goal,? boasted Burnstedt.

As for future goals, the senior knows their plan needs some tweaking.

?Other teams tend to catch on to what we do which is just send the ball to me and since I?m faster then their defenders usually, I just run up there and score,? admitted the speedster.

?But they?re catching on and they?re putting numerous girls around me so we need to pass around them better instead of just sending it to me everytime.?

?Kristen has always been a really good, quick forward who can place the ball well,? said Head Coach Brittany Winslow who added, ?It?s nice to be able to count on her and the rest of the seniors. Ella is good at creating plays in the center and Alie is both tough and athletic for us and I don?t know how many times Kelsey [Hollander] has saved our butts with a big save in goal.?

As for the tension that comes with a one goal lead late in a playoff game, Hollander agreed that it felt like ?time was slowing down,? as she desperately watched the clock dwindle down to 00:00.

Once it did, the senior could relax for a moment before answering, ?I think our next goal is just to beat Mt. Pleasant.?

The Trojans still need to work on maintaining their level of intensity after notoriously taking early leads and then struggling to hold on, something that caused them to lose their first matchup with Mt. Pleasant 3-2 at home on April 13 when Mary West had two second-half goals in less than a minute to lead the Panthers to the Southeast Conference road win.

?We talk about it often and we did again at the half,? said Winslow. ?It seems like the girls get the lead and then get comfortable.

It got rough towards the end and we stopped beating them to every ball like we had earlier in the game. We need to stay aggressive and be on them, because we have every chance in the world to beat these girls, we just have to show up ready to play and be motivated.?