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Upland Lady Scots Have Their Revenge

The Upland High School Lady Scots had revenge on their mind Saturday, Feb. 15th, when they played the Cypress Centurions on the road at Cypress High School, the team that sent them home in the second round of the C.I.F. playoffs in 2019. Upland senior and co-captain Marin Whieldon (#22) believed her teammates were ready to redeem themselves.

Erin Shrock (2) attempting to score a goal.

“Everybody is ready on this team and I think everybody wants revenge and is ready to die for that revenge,” Whieldon determinedly stated.

The Upland Lady Scots did exactly that as they defeated Cypress 3-0. Whieldon was the leading scorer for Upland with two goals off of penalty kicks. Chloe Tadolini (#13) added another goal to give the Lady Scots a 3-0 lead before halftime.

Upland head coach Bo Whieldon believes his team was more prepared for the field conditions at Cypress High School.

“When we showed up last year, we were caught off guard by what we were going to play on and so this year, we know exactly what we’re playing on,” Coach Whieldon said.

The win continued Upland’s undefeated season as they moved to 24-0. Upland senior and co-captain Kaya Pigoni (#23) believes the Lady Scots’drive and resilience to adversity helped the team reach this point.

“We’re just going to work as hard as we can. Mistakes happen and all we can do is push through it,” Pigoni said.

The Lady Scots kept the pressure on the Cypress defense to start the game. Upland possessed the ball early in the game but missed several opportunities to take the lead. The Lady Scots got their best chance to score when Brooke Henninger (#5) drew a foul that set up a penalty kick for the Lady Scots. Whieldon took the penalty kick for the Lady Scots and buried it into the left corner to give Upland a 1-0 lead.

It did not take long for Upland to add on to their lead when Tadolini kicked the ball into the right side of the goal from close range. After going up 2-0 and scoring the game’s first in-play goal, Tadolini believed her team took control of the game.

“Since the second goal came more in the flow of the game it was a big possession switcher for us,” Tadolini said.

The first half went on as tempers flared, leading to fouls being called on both sides. One of these fouls gave Upland another penalty kick with the chance to extend their lead, which Whieldon converted into her second goal with a straight shot down the middle.

The goal gave Whieldon her 15th of the season, the most on the team. She credits her father, Coach Whieldon, for her success as a player.

“Since I was a child, he’s brought me up to this player that I’m supposed to be so I just try to go out every day and play for him because this is my last season,” Whieldon said.

Upland reached halftime without letting Cypress on the scoreboard. Yet Coach Whieldon’s message to his team at the half was to not let up.

“2-0, 3-0, those are scary scores because they give you a sense of security,” Coach Whieldon said to his team at halftime. “The game’s never over, play all the way to the final whistle.”

Early in the second half, Cypress had possession and forced Upland to play more defense than they did in the first half. However, the Lady Scots did not let that become the norm for the second half as they took possession again.

Tension between the two sides continued into the second half as several more fouls were called. Yet, Upland did not let Cypress back into the game as they sealed the win and achieved their goal of revenge.

“It feels so good,” Whieldon said. “All together we really worked hard and it just feels so good to finally get there.”

The 3-0 win gave the Lady Scots their 22nd shutout out of 24 games on the season. The team has only allowed a total of three goals on the season but goalie Abigail Ito (#6) believes the team’s defensive unit beyond the goalie has made the strongest impact.

“The defense is really the reason why we have so many shutouts,” Ito said. “They’re always on their game and they’re always ready to go.”

With the win, the Upland Lady Scots advanced to the quarterfinals, where they defeated Harvard-Westlake at home on Wednesday, Feb 19th, in a 2-1 overtime win. Upland hopes to repeat their success from 2018, when they finished their season as the C.I.F. Division 1 Champions. With Cypress out of the way, Whieldon believes the Lady Scots cannot be slowed down.

“There’s nothing stopping us now. We have nothing in our way so we can completely go all the way,” Whieldon said. “This is an amazing season so I think nobody wants that to stop.”

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