The Rockets are one step closer to their first Seventh Region title in seven years following a 2-0 victory over Atherton in the region semifinals Wednesday night. The win is their fourth in a row, all via shutout.
“I think we had a really good game,” said Assumption head Tammy Hailey. “The last couple of games we’ve definitely been playing balls to feet, making good passes, and putting high pressure, and I felt like we did that again tonight. That’s when we’re successful. When we win the 50-50 balls and put the pressure on the other team, we can usually come out ahead.
“We’ve had our ups and downs this season. We’re kind of putting it together right now, so hopefully, we can do that moving forward.”
Senior Maddie Reed put Assumption on the board with a goal in the 27th minute. The Rockets entered halftime with a 1-0 lead. In the 54th minute, Payton Seymour, Assumption’s leading scorer, added to her season total to extend the Rockets advantage to 2-0.
Assumption has dealt with a lot of adversity this season, mainly due to injuries. However, the Rockets appear to be getting healthy just at the right time.
“It’s a different team,” said Hailey. “We had a middle of the season lull where we lost three of our starters due to concussions and injuries, and that took our morale way down. We are just now getting back from that.
“I’m hoping we’re peaking at the right time.”
Assumption’s victory sets up a Seventh Region showdown between the Rockets and their arch-rival Sacred Heart. The Valkyries punched their ticket to the championship game by defeating CAL 1-0. It is the fifth time in six years that Assumption and Sacred Heart will meet in the region final. The Rockets’ last victory over the Valkyries in the region tournament was in 2012.
For Hailey, the biggest challenge might be convincing her team it can win.
“It’s all about confidence,” said Hailey. “The girls have to believe they can do it. And that’s the biggest thing. I think they’re getting there. I have all day tomorrow to prove it to them.”
The Rockets (11-8-4) and Valkyries (21-1-2) square off at Sacred Heart on Friday at 7 p.m.