GALION — Pleasant built a 2-0 halftime lead and then held on to defeat Galion 3-2 in girls soccer action on Saturday.
Lady Spartans forward Whitney Waddell netted a pair of goals in the first half and midfielder Kalli Caldwell scored what proved to be the match-winning goal early in the second half for Pleasant.
Galion’s Autumn Bennett and Adriana Zeger each scored a goal for the Lady Tigers.
“We fought a lot harder in the second half,” Galion head coach Cole Plumb said. “We came out in the first half kind of slow. … Pleasant is a good team. It was a hard-fought game. We did everything we could to get back into the game, but we just didn’t have enough time.”
Waddell opened the scoring less than two minutes into the first half, driving a shot from about 25 yards out past Galion goalkeeper Rilynn Keinath. Waddell’s unassisted tally came at the 38:04 mark of the first half.
Pleasant increased its lead to 2-0 with 11:13 remaining in the first half. Waddell once again provided the goal, making a run into the right side of the penalty area and driving a shot into the left corner of the net.
It took less than two minutes after the match was restarted following halftime for the Lady Spartans to run their lead to 3-0. Caldwell took a cross from the right wing from Waddell and slotted the ball into the net. Caldwell’s goal came at the 38:03 mark of the second half.
“A couple of our girls are banged up, so we didn’t have one of our girls for the first half,” Plumb said.
Zeger has been hampered by an ankle injury and Nicole Noble was sidelined in the first half due to a sprained right wrist. Noble entered the match about halfway through the second half.
Galion cut the deficit to 3-1 with 27:05 to play in the match. Bennett collected a long diagonal pass from Zeger and beat Lady Spartans goalkeeper Balee Howard with a hard shot inside the right post.
The Lady Tigers’ offense continued to pressure Pleasant over the final 25 minutes of the match. After recording only three shots in the first half, Galion had seven shots in the second half, including five in the final 25 minutes. Howard was forced to come up with three saves late in the match to help preserve Pleasant’s win.
Zeger pulled Galion to within one goal at 3-2 with just 2:55 left in the match. She made a long solo run into the right side of the penalty area and slammed a shot past the goalkeeper that found the left corner of the net.
Galion’s Mia Felder nearly scored the tying goal about a minute later, but her shot from the left side of the penalty area missed just high.
The Lady Tigers limited Pleasant to just one shot in the second half, unfortunately that one shot found the back of the net. Galion outshot the Lady Spartans overall, 10-8.
Five Galion offensive opportunities were halted due to offside calls. One of the offside violations cost the Lady Tigers a goal at the 37:00 mark of the second half. Felder scored, but the goal was disallowed.
Keinath recorded two saves for the Lady Tigers. Howard was credited with four saves for Pleasant.
Galion plays at Clear Fork at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7. The Lady Tigers then travel to Toledo Bowsher for an 11 a.m. match on Saturday, Sept. 11.
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