ARGOS | Less than a minute into Saturday's girls soccer regional championship game, Argos already had a one goal lead over Wheeler.
Trying to recover, the Bearcats were unable to produce much offensively, falling 4-1 to the Dragons.
“We talked before the game, about our game flow and plan,” Wheeler coach Bryan Murray said. “We talked about controlling (Argos' Jami) Patterson and getting in the flow early, and we have up a goal to Patterson in the first minute of the game.”
Patterston’s shot from 40 yards out hit the crossbar and bounced straight down into the net behind Wheeler goalkeeper Kim Moskovich.
“It’s pretty big, particularly because it went with our game plan," Argos coach John Alcorn said. "We didn’t know a lot about Wheeler. We didn’t think Wheeler had any weak spots, we just thought we had to get the ball high."
Wheeler (17-3) was tied the game in the 31st minute on a goal from Terra Philips, who found an opening after Dragons goalkeeper Karlee VanDerWeele slipped on the grass.
Argos (12-5-2) added another goal with seven minutes left in the first half, and then another two minutes later to take a 3-1 lead heading into halftime.
“I thought Wheeler did a nice job in the second half. It was more shots from outside,” Alcorn said. “We tried to get up and take away that shot from the midfield. I think it worked a little bit, we made them go to the outside.”
Argos outshot Wheeler 8-6. The Bearcats had chances to score in the second half, but shots by Shannon Eden and Lauren Fratzke were too high.
“I don’t think we played bad, the difference is that they finished on set pieces, and we were very inefficient defensively,” Murray said. “That was the story of the game. It’s not like we didn’t have the ball, but at this level if you don’t finish and defend those pieces, you’re not going to win. It just wasn’t our night."