After back-to-back losses to R-S Central last week, the McDowell Lady Titans soccer team needed to get back on track, and Monday’s trip to Mitchell offered that opportunity.
But it wasn’t as easy for the Lady Titans as it had been the first time.
McDowell (2-2) defeated Mitchell 3-1 in a match much closer than the Lady Titans’ 6-0 blowout of the Mountaineers in the season opener.
Mitchell came out swinging and took a 1-0 lead early in the contest with a breakaway goal by Marley Cloer.
But the lead didn’t last. McDowell made some defensive adjustments and began to take control of the action.
The Lady Titans evened the score when Zitlaly Juarez connected with a beautiful redirection shot off a perfect pass from Noelle Fields.
McDowell took a 2-1 lead fewer than 10 minutes later with a goal from Fields.
In the second half, the Lady Titans took over and pounded the Mitchell goal with 13 shots, but only one of them found the net, that one coming from Miryam Ramirez.
Titans head coach Seth Hunt said his team’s defense deserved much of the credit for the victory.
“The defense, led by seniors Lyric Fletcher and Channing Wellman and juniors Madeline Sanchez Ramirez and Abby Lewis, really helped us to keep the game on the Mountaineers’ side of the field during the second half,” said Hunt. “Special recognition is due to junior Andrea Abernathy, whose relentless attacks and excellent drives to the goal kept the Mountaineers on their heels for the entirety of the game's second half.”
In addition to the three goals from Juarez, Fields and Ramirez, the Lady Titans got assists from Jessica Givens and Ramirez. Leila Bragg was solid in the net, making eight saves.
McDowell opened Northwestern 3A/4A Conference play Tuesday on the road, but results were not available at press time. The Lady Titans host Alexander Central Friday (6 p.m.).