By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
One goal made the difference for the Midwest City girls Friday night.
The Bombers led U.S. Grant early in the game but saw the lead slip away late in the second half. The Generals scored with 13 minutes left in the game and held on for a 2-1 win at Rose Field.
“I think the girls are competing and working hard and I just hope we continue to put together two halves,” said coach A.J. Willetts. “The last two games, we played two halves hard and we got the results. Tonight, we played hard one half but in the second half we made some mistakes and had to fight the wind. And I think that was the difference.”
The Bombers led 1-0 in the first half. Katie Hartley scored off a free kick from about 20 yards out.
U.S. Grant evened the score before the half. They scored off a penalty kick to make it a 1-1 score at the break.
In the second half, a defensive miscue set up U.S. Grant’s second goal. The ball bounced off a pair of Midwest City defenders and landed in front of the goalbox. A U.S. Grant player booted it in the goal for the 2-1 win.
Wind played a big factor in the game. Midwest City had the wind at their backs in the first half, and had to defend against it in the second.
“We were hoping we’d get to defend the wind the first half better with fresh legs,” Willetts said. “They [Grant] won the toss so they elected to have the wind at their backs in the second half and that proved to be the difference.”
Midwest City is 0-2 in district play. They dropped both games against Bishop McGuinness and Guymon.
The Bombers had won their previous two games. They beat McLoud 2-0 on March 24 with goals by Daisy Allen and Naomi King. On March 28, they beat Del City 2-1 in a shootout. Allen scored the only goal in regulation.
Willetts said his young team is coming along this season. They have a handful of senior starters including Allen, Hartley, King, and goalkeeper Jade Singleton.
“My team is mostly freshman and sophomores and I’m fortunate that my goal keeper, my holding midfielder and some players up top are seniors,” Willetts said.
Willetts said they’re trying to change the mindset of the program.
“I’m very proud of the progress I’m seeing and encouraged by the fact that we’re competing unlike the Midwest City of the past,” Willetts said. “I see opportunities ahead of them as long as they continue to work and continue to try and do the right things and play hard for their sisters.”
Midwest City played Guthrie on Tuesday night and they will host El Reno on Thursday.