The Willard Lady Tigers took down the Bolivar Lady Liberators in a PK shootout Monday night, 3-2.
In regulation time, Willard dominated possession taking 13 shots on goal to score two points; Bolivar took only two shots, both of which scored.
Early in the game, the Bolivar midfield made several clean passes to forward Abby Martin, which kept the Willard defense on their heels. After the 10th minute, however, Bolivar let up on the attack, allowing Willard’s offense to press hard.
“We always talk about building from the back end,” said Willard head coach, Brad Hornback. “Beyond the two goals they slipped past us, in the back end we did really well.”
In the 18th minute, Mary Hannah Miller picked up Willard’s first goal, heading the ball in assisted by a long-distance cross from left forward, Makenna Cotter.
“It was just beautiful. She redirected it right into the back of the net. You don’t see that a lot in high school,” said Hornback.
From there, Willard continued to dominate in possession, but Bolivar’s McKenzie Lesh still found room to score. In the 32nd minute, Lesh took the Bolivar team’s first shot from 45 yards out, sending the ball sailing just over the head of Willard keeper, Katie Harlan.
With Willard rattled, Bolivar’s Martin broke into the Lady Tigers' defensive end to take the team’s second shot. Harlan dove to snatch up the ball, but Martin retained possession and scored on an empty net.
“If we’re two for two or two for three, I’ll take that percentage. I mean that’s this game. You can dominate somebody and outshoot them 30-1 and lose 1-0,” said Bolivar head coach, Jeff Edge. " Right now, Willard possess better than we do, but both of our goals were legitimate.”
Willard began the second half refreshed and determined to even the score. Owens tied the game up in the 59th minute, breaking into Bolivar’s goal box unassisted to deliver a close range shot.
The score remained 2-2 throughout regulation time, and despite two 10 minute overtimes, neither team was able to pull ahead for a win.
“PKs are just not soccer. I told my girls, I didn’t care how it ended up in the PKs. We played a great game of soccer, but had a five minute span where we let our brains slip and gave up two goals,” said Hornback.
The two teams squared off for a best-of-five PK shootout, but each team made four shots, so the game was determined in one-for-one shooting. Willard’s keeper, Harlan, stepped up to the challenge, blocking Bolivar’s final shot to win the game for her team.
Willard’s record increases to 4-0. They play at Branson April 2 at 5 p.m.
Bolivar now stands at 2-1. They hit the field at home against Rogersville on April 2 at 4:30 p.m.
Willard 3, Bolivar 2
Willard -- Mary Hannah Miller, assisted by Makenna Cotter
Bolivar -- McKenzie Lesh, unassisted
Bolivar -- Abby Martin, unassisted
Willard -- Dylan Owens, unassisted
Willard wins on one-for-one