HUXLEY - Sometimes it’s OK to wait until the last minute.
That’s what the Ballard girls’ soccer team did in a 2-1 victory over Collins-Maxwell April 12 at Rich Strouse Field in Huxley.
The game was tied at 1-1 heading into the final minute after Brooke Christie evened the score for Collins-Maxwell with a great 20 yard cross into the back of the net off a feed from Tatum Tremain with eight minutes, 37 seconds left. The Spartans had the momentum in the final minutes and looked as if they were going to take that into overtime
But in the last minute of play, the Ballard defense bombed a ball up the field to Cassie Smith. Bomber forward Sydney Halverson was being triple-teamed, but Smith sent a ball that went over the three Spartan defenders to Halverson.
Halverson and Avery Anderson then did some nice combo work as Spartan keeper Elise Robertson was coming up on the ball. Halverson sent a great ball to Anderson as they got around Robertson, and she laid it right back to Halverson for the winning score with just 22 seconds left.
“It was awesome,” Anderson said. “It was just right across and I just laid it right in.”
Halverson credited Anderson, Smith and the rest of her teammates for getting her the ball in position to make something happen.
“It was just a simple play from our back line,” Halverson said. “We poked it out, I sent it over and I just kept running, (hoping) I would’ve gotten back and I did.”
Halverson, who also netted Ballard’s first goal off a ball from Brooke Smith in the first half, said it was nice to see her team keep fighting after Collins-Maxwell tied the game.
“I told them not to put their heads down,” Halverson said. “We just needed to keep going and pounding it and we thankfully broke through and got the goal. That’s the best thing.”
The victory put Ballard at 1-1. Halverson said was a nice rebound win for the Bombers after suffering a 4-1 loss to Newton in their opener last week.
“I’ve been telling the girls to focus on mental aspects throughout all of practice,” Halverson said. “I’ve been getting on girls for it, so I’m proud it translated into a game and we could finally get the win.”
Collins-Maxwell coach Gary Cummings was also happy with the way his team played in defeat. The Spartans entered the game without one defensive starter in Maggie Pritchard and another one — Sophie Meyer — was forced to miss the second half.
“I thought it was a good match all the way around,” Cummings said. “We play quite a few freshman and sophomores, so it’s a learning process. But it’s a great bunch of girls. It’s a promising year for us, I think.”
The loss put the Spartans at 1-1.
Ballard 2, Collins-Maxwell 1
CM 0 1 - 1
B 1 1 - 2
B - Sydney Halverson (Brooke Smith), 13:47.
CM - Brooke Christie (Tatum Tremain), 71:23.
B - Halverson (Avery Anderson), 79:38.