The Lady Bulldogs soccer team endured a rough week last week, suffering disappointing losses to both begin and end the week. Monday evening found the girls making a return trip to Siloam Springs after the previous Friday evening’s game was called off due to inclement weather. To say that they were battling a bit "road weariness" may be an understatement. Playing in front of the Lady Panther’s home crowd on Senior Night didn’t help either. Still, the girls came out very strong and held a very good Lady Panther team in check most of the night. In fact, the Lady Bulldogs finished up the first forty minutes of play on top 1-0, the lone goal coming on a very unique (and comical) play with 18 seconds remaining in the first half. That lone goal that gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead at halftime was actually credited to the Siloam Springs goalkeeper, who misplayed a pass from her own player, the ball scooting under her and into the goal. It may not be the prettiest or the most conventional way to get on the board, but no one on the Greenwood side was complaining! The scoreboard read 1-0 at the end of the half, Unfortunately, the Bulldog momentum didn’t carry over into the second half. Perhaps it was tiredness and "bus lag." Perhaps it was sickness/allergies. (I have it on good authority that many of the girls have been suffering with cold and allergy symptoms). Perhaps it was Siloam Springs rallying for their seniors at home. More likely, it was a combination of all three. Needless to say, the Lady Panthers came out for the second half with a purpose, and Greenwood was simply unable to find an answer. Thirteen minutes into the second half Siloam Springs found the back of the Greenwood goal after a Lady Bulldogs foul provided the Lady Panthers with a penalty kick from just a few yards out. That score, which tied the game, gave the Lady Panthers a real spark, while simultaneously taking the wind out of the Greenwood sails. Siloam Springs would go on to win the game 4-1. Said Coach Andrew Post after the game: "[This] was a disappointing loss, to say the least. We took the lead with a few minutes left in the first half off a keeper mistake, and lead for most of the second half. Although we did get about four shots on goal in the second half, it was our mistakes on defense that really cost us the game. We did keep Siloam in check most of the night, and felt like we were in a position to win the game. The momentum shifted after we gave up that penalty kick, and we never recovered from that. Siloam is certainly a team we can compete with, but we didn’t react well after giving up the game-tying goal. I don’t believe Siloam Springs is a team better than us by three goals, so the score is not a good measure of where we are against them."
The second tough loss came this past Friday evening at Russellville, the Lady Bulldogs losing 3-0 in front of Russellville’s home crowd on Senior Night. Due to time and space constraints you’ll have to read next week’s article for the whole breakdown. What can be said right now, though, is that with state playoffs beginning this Saturday, we can only hope that the girls will have healed up and gotten the losses and letdowns out of the way so that they can make a serious run in the playoffs that will—hopefully—extend all the way to the finals.