EATON TWP. — Midview’s first-year coach Abbey Golden was all smiles after the Middies non-league match with Brookside on Saturday afternoon.
That was probably because her team had given her many good reasons to smile.
Freshman Colleen Benton scored a pair of first-half goals and goalkeeper Alyssa Adkins recorded her first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Cardinals.
“We were at home today for the first time after playing four games in a row on the road. I’m so proud of how our girls came out and played,” Golden said.
Midview (4-1) got on the board first in the 18th minute when Benton scored her first career goal on an unsusal play. She fired off a shot from 20 yards out that was initially stopped by Cardinals goalkeeper Clara Barnett. Barnett knocked the ball down with her hands to make the initial save, but the ball bounced off the Ross Field turf with backspin and spun behind Barnett and past the goal line to make the score 1-0.
“I was just looking for the space to run into so I could go at the goalkeeper,” Benton said. “I thought she saved it and I was getting ready to follow my shot, and then it went over the line.”
Benton, a midfielder, caught the Cardinals defense napping as the first half was winding down and made the score 2-0 with just nine seconds remaining in the half.
The Middies defense did most of the work from there, holding Brookside to two shots on goal and a minimal amount of positions inside the Midview defensive end. The Cardinals were not awarded their first corner kick until the final 10 seconds of the match.
“We’re struggling right now to find the right combination to score goals, Brookside coach Zoran Cancar said. “We doing an excellent job defensively but we’re not rewarded ourselves on the other end.”
Although the loss dropped the Cardinals to 0-5, Cancar is seeing signs things may turnaround soon.
“The pieces are starting to come together. We’re getting some girls back from injuries,” he said. “I’d rather see us start slow and get better than the other way around. Little by little it’s coming together.”
Barnett made 13 saves for Brookside.
Midview’s only goal of the second half came in the 63rd minute when junior Morgan Hamker converted a penalty kick after being brought down in the box by a Cardinals defender.
The Middies had eight corner kicks in the match and were able to create wide-open scoring chances that ended with shots wide of the net.
“Our effort today was 110 percent and I can’t ask anything more from this team,” Golden said. “We made some mistakes and failed to convert some scoring chances, but in the end it’s how you respond to and bounce back from mistakes that really counts.”
The schedule is about to get much tougher for Midview with matches against defending Division II state champion Rocky River and defending Division III regional finalist Elyria Catholic on the horizon, but Benton think her team is ready for the challenge.
“I thought we had a pretty good team but we keep getting better every day,” Benton said. “We’re switching better and our defense has improved so much. It’s been really exciting.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midview 3, Brookside 0
Goals: M — 2 Benton (18th minute, 40th minute), Hamker (63rd minute, penalty kick)
Goalkeepers: M— Adkins, 2 saves; B — Barnett, 13 saves
Corner kicks: M — 8; B — 1
Fouls: M – 9, B — 6
Offsides: M – 1, B — 1
Yellow cards: M – Hamker (50th minute)
Halftime: Midview 2-0