“At this point, you just have to go out confident and try your hardest because everything is better than last season,” Ellis said. “We’re already kind of pumped up that we have chances to win this season, and we just go at it as hard as we can, even against the teams that we know are a lot stronger than us.”
Danville freshman Natalie Hummer got the Vikings on the board 12 minutes, 7 seconds into the game on an assist from Marissa McMillan. Sophomore Katie Henk put Danville up 2-0 (assisted by Kelsi Lichtenberger) at the 37:14 mark, and Ellis capped the first-half scoring 1:28 later on an assist from Kaitie Goodwin.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Gremar had so much confidence in her team’s depth that she subbed in all seven players that were on the bench. And despite replacing every midfielder and forward, the Vikings’ play and effort remained the same.
Danville went on to score four more goals in the second half by Joah Howland (assisted by sophomore Lexi Hoskins), Emily Cleveland, Goodwin (on a penalty kick), and Hoskins. Kyia Bryant stopped Eisenhower’s only shot on goal, and the Vikings outshot the Panthers 30-1.
“I think we’ve got a lot of potential there,” Gremar said. “Any of the girls on my team can score, it’s just a matter of getting that confidence that they can take that breakaway and go to the goal. It took us a while to get into this game, but once we finally did, I think they kind of warmed up to it. It’s good. There is a lot of potential on this team. I’m excited for it.”
Along with the team’s depth comes versatility, and leading the way is Hoskins who has already played multiple positions in only seven varsity games. Though she had nearly a decade of soccer experience prior to attending Danville High, the sophomore is playing her first season with the Vikings.