Focused Wolverines blank Brevard for key MF7 triumph
Published 11:37 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Polk County delivered the focus and intensity Tuesday that head coach Lennox Charles hoped to see in a key conference match.
And got the result that Charles wanted.
The Wolverines blanked Brevard 3-0 in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference matchup in G.M. Tennant Stadium, keeping Polk in a tie for second in the league standings.
The Wolverines are now 7-2-1, 3-1-1 in league matches and tied with East Rutherford behind Hendersonville. Brevard dropped to 9-4 overall, 3-2 in the conference and is now in fourth place.
Polk County largely controlled play from the start, winning the midfield battle to keep possession in Brevard’s end. That hustle paid off as Charley Dusenbury drew a foul in the penalty area, with Jessica Baird taking the resulting penalty kick and calmly placing it in the upper right corner of the net to give Polk a 1-0 advantage.
The score remained that way at the half.
“I thought first half we were really, really composed in terms of with the ball. We did a lot of good things with the ball in the first half,” Charles said.
“We were able to have that intensity, work-wise defensively, but offensively be composed enough to move the ball and do good things with the ball.”
The Wolverines doubled their lead in the 58th minute in the second half as Elena Carroll played a pass downfield to an open Dusenbury, who struck a low first touch that kept just inside the left post to give Polk a 2-0 advantage.
The Wolverines capped the scoring in the final minutes as Hayden Blackwell headed a throw-in just in front of the goal, where Caroline Taylor got control and struck a left-footed drive from some 10 yards out that just beat the keeper and nestled inside the left post.
“We didn’t move the ball as well in the second half, but we obviously were able to keep matching intensity,” Charles said. “After we got the second goal, our confidence went back up and theirs dropped, and we started moving the ball a bit again.
“It was a good win. It makes last Thursday (a tie with East Rutherford) even more painful because that really could have put us in the driver’s seat (for a playoff spot). Now we’ve got to focus on Thursday.”
That Thursday match will be a 6 p.m. affair against Patton in G.M. Tennant Stadium.