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MTZ girls soccer picks up two conference wins

Reese Donahue passes the ball to teammate Sydney Howerton in a 4-2 win against Lincoln at Lincoln.

Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion girls soccer team went 2-0 last week picking up Apollo Conference wins against Charleston and Lincoln.

Against Lincoln, the Braves trailed 1-0 after Lincoln got their first shot on-goal in the back of the net. In the 19th minute of the game, Paityn Koester shot and scored from right outside the 20-yard line to tie the match 1-1.

The Braves offense took the lead seven minutes later. McKenzie Krieger dished the ball off to Koester who shot the ball at the 15-yard line into the top-shelf of the net to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. The lead lasted 14 seconds as Grace Curry tied the match with a goal of her own.

“We have talked about during these three games that we have coming up here about competing and we also talked about that things are not going to go our way at times,” Head coach Jonathan Moore said. “We are going to give up goals. We know this, we’re going to make mistakes, but how are we gonna handle, are we gonna bounce back and respond or are we gonna drop our heads today. They bounced back and responded really well.”

Three minutes later, the Braves offense executed once again. Multiple Braves shot and missed, but Maddie Kendall found the back of the net off a Railers’ miscue as she scored off a left-footed shot to give the Braves a 3-2 lead.

The Braves capitalized on another mistake 15 seconds before the first half ended. Krieger intercepted the Railers’ goal kick and shot the ball that bounced off the Railers’ goalkeeper’s hand and into the back of the net to give the Braves a 4-2 lead and ultimately a 4-2 win.

“We were pleased,” Coach Moore said. “We talked about competing before the game, competing on every possession, every 50-50 ball, and we did a really good job of that. We’re happy with the effort and we’re happy with how we passed the ball through the midfield today too and we were able to capitalize and get some in the net.”

The Braves improved to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in Apollo Conference play. This week the Braves will face Mattoon and Mahomet-Seymour who both sit at the top of the Apollo Conference.

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