WORTHINGTON -- Progress for the Worthington High girls soccer program isn’t necessarily measured by victories.
So Thursday night’s 3-0 loss to the tradition-rich St. Peter Saints program was a definite sign of improvement as far as Worthington coaches and fans are concerned.
“When we played them earlier this season we lost 5-0 and that was the best we’ve played against St. Peter in a long time, and this was even better,” said Trojan coach Emily Ahlquist. “Our team played very strong tonight, the best we’ve seen them play this season so far.”
The best player on the Trojan Field artificial surface, though, was St. Peter midfielder Adrianna Bixby. She scored all three St. Peter goals as the Saints, who were 11-1-2 last season, improved to 4-4 overall and 4-2 in Big South Conference play.
Worthington fell to 2-7 and 2-4. But Ahlquist said the Trojans are trending in the right direction.
“They were connecting passes, they were seeing space, they were making movements,” Ahlquist said of her players. “They didn’t always necessarily finish those chances. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities at the net. But we are moving the ball better up the field than we have. So we’ll get there.”
Worthington senior goalkeeper Chantel Peralta had a fine game, with perhaps 20 saves. Several other Trojans performed well on defense, as much of the game was played in the Worthington end.
“We had a great game from Leidy (Chavez Martin) and a great game from Arely (Martinez),” Ahlquist said.
Bixby was clearly the difference.
“She’s a really good player. Very solid,” Ahlquist said.
Bixby isn’t very tall. But the slightly built junior came up big this night.
“We came out with good energy and it was a good game,” Bixby said. “Worthington pressured us a little bit. They had a good fight and did really well.”
Bixby’s first goal came in the fifth minute off a steal deep in the WHS zone.
Bixby added two goals in the second half. The first was a rebound off a corner kick in the 52nd minute, a right-footer that she drilled after receiving the ball at the top of the box with her back to the net.
The coup de grace from Bixby came in the 65th minute, a booming left-footer from about 30 yards straight away from the goal.
“I was surprised at that one, I’m not gonna lie,” Bixby smiled.
She said the Saints are happy with the victory -- and for the chance to play on the sparkling artificial turf at Trojan Field.
“This stadium is really nice,” Bixby said. “It’s great to play here under the lights.”
The Trojans are at Marshall next Tuesday, then finish the regular season with three straight home games.
St. Peter 1 2 -- 3
Worthington 0 0 -- 0