There’s an old adage in boxing that says, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." The 6A Lady Bulldogs soccer team went into their match Tuesday against the 4A Shiloh Christian Saints with a good plan. According to Coach Andrew Post, this matchup was to serve as a "confidence builder" as the Lady Bulldogs prepare to begin a very tough conference schedule against top-ranked 6A and 7A opponents and players.
Unfortunately, sometimes a "confidence builder" can turn into an upset. The Lady Bulldogs, perhaps underestimating, perhaps overlooking their opponent, admittedly started off the game a bit flat. The Lady Saints took full advantage, coming out strong and getting on the scoreboard first with a goal from 25 yards out, effectively punching Greenwood in the mouth. Unfortunately for Shiloh Christian, this early punch didn’t knock the Lady Bulldogs out. It only served as a
The Lady Bulldogs responded by taking charge of the game and putting on quite a show. Five different Greenwood girls were able to find the back of the Saints’ net throughout the course of the remaining 70 minutes of play, resulting in a 5-2 Greenwood victory. Courtney Meyers and Regan Jones showed strength and precision with powerful, well-aimed goals as they put the Bulldogs on top 2-1 to end the first half of play. Emilie Bjerre continued the scoring onslaught as she found the back of the net a few minutes into the start of the second half. Just a few minutes later Emily Jones positioned herself perfectly for a corner kick and was able to head the ball past the goalkeeper, putting the Bulldogs up 4-1. To their credit, Shiloh Christian didn’t quit. With 6:29 remaining in the game, the Lady Saints were able to register another goal with an overpowering kick from 15 yards out. However, the second punch, like the first, didn’t sit well with the Lady Bulldogs. A mere 42 seconds later the Lady Bulldogs took the ball down field, and Hannah Johnson provided the final knockout punch with a goal from just in front of the net.
"The girls reacted and responded well after that first [Shiloh Christian] goal," said Coach Post after the game. "We ended up having possession of the ball over 80% of the rest of the game. Overall, it was a great performance. There’s obviously still some room for improvement, especially before conference play begins. On the defensive side we do want to clamp down a bit more, especially when the other team has a real dominant player. Offensively, though, we had five different people score. Coaches love that! This shows that we’re not dependent on any one player. That’s a huge positive." One thing is for certain: If the Lady Bulldogs are able to bring the intensity, precision, and strength that they showed against Shiloh Christian to bear against their conference opponents, this promises to be a very exciting and rewarding season for Coach Post and his squad. If you haven’t been out to see the girls in action yet, you need to make the effort. These girls are strong and tough and fast, and they play with a lot of physicality. It’s exciting to watch, and it’s definitely worth the price of admission! The Bulldogs will take the field again on Mar. 29 as they face off with Van Buren at Smith Robinson Stadium.