By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Solon was without two of its top three goal scorers for Tuesday’s match against Western Dubuque with Taylor Ryan and Tara Lance both nursing injuries.
What the Spartans did have on Tuesday was the top goal scorer in the state in senior Josie Durr and an inspired defensive unit.
That combination proved to be more than enough for Class 1A No. 11 Solon.
Durr scored three goals in the opening 14 minutes and Solon (7-3) posted its fourth shutout of the season with a 3-0 win over Western Dubuque (3-3) at Spartan Stadium.
“With a few players out it was interesting,” Solon coach John Tucker said. “I think the girls really stepped up and did a great job tonight.”
Injuries to Ryan (12 goals) and Lance (4 goals) left Solon with only two players in uniform on Tuesday that had scored goals this season.
Fortunately for the Spartans one of those players was Durr who upped her state-leading goal total to an eye-popping 43 with her hat trick on Tuesday.
“That was a big loss obviously because they are two of our other main scorers so I definitely wanted to do a little bit more to help make up for those gaps that had to be filled,” Durr said of missing Ryan and Lance. “We had people step in and do a really nice job but I felt like I had to do a little bit more than I normally do just to fill those roles.”
Durr scored all of her goals in a span of less than six minutes in the opening half.
She opened the scoring in the 8th minute when she slipped a low shot from the right side of the box across to the far post and past Western Dubuque keeper Ireland Hill.
That goal started a flurry from the senior star.
“It’s definitely a relief to get the first goal because it’s like ‘yeah I can get it past the goalie’,” Durr said. “I know I can do it and once you get that first one it just kind of starts rolling after that and it just happens.”
Durr scored less than three minutes later, weaving between defenders before slamming a shot into the upper third of the goal from 20 yards out.
Her final goal, a rocket from 15 yards out put the Spartans in control 3-0 just 14 minutes in.
“We had to shift a few people around, one of our defenders stepped up into the midfield role and took some of that pressure off,” Tucker said. “Obviously when Josie got the ball she wanted to take it down and she did a good job. She got some goals early and we were able to stay solid on the defense.”
Durr spent the final half of the opening half on the bench with an injury but returned after halftime.
The Solon defense did its part holding Western Dubuque scoreless for the first time this season.
“Taylor Ryan and Tara Lance were out and those are our two forwards so we were really nervous and this was a tough game for us last year so it was a little nerve wracking,” Solon senior Ali Diersen said. “When Josie got hurt it was a little freaky but we kept it together.”
Led by Diersen at sweeper and senior keeper Brianna Smith, Solon posted its third shutout in the past five games on Tuesday.
“Our defense and midfielder has really picked it up the last few games and our communication is just building and building,” Diersen said. “We are trusting each other now.”
Solon improved to 3-1 against WAMAC East competition with its win on Tuesday and has outscored those teams 21-2 while posting three shutouts.
“Any conference game that you can get out of with a 3-0 win is a good thing,” Tucker said. “We didn’t know what to expect. They’ve won some games, they’ve lost a couple of games so we had no idea what to expect.”