MIDLOTHIAN – It’s already been a strange few weeks for the Midlothian girls soccer team. Friday night, it kept getting stranger.
After having a game with Mansfield Timberview moved from the road to home due to broken stadium lights, the Lady Panthers were forced to wait 20-plus minutes while the referees ran late.
The stockpile of distractions were just enough to throw the team off its game, allowing the Lady Wolves to sneak away with a 2-1 win.
Chaos is nothing new to Midlothian but it’s still something the team is getting accustomed to.
“The lights went off against Legacy and we had basically a 20-minute delay. We had a 1-0 lead, came out and lost that lead after that, lost 2-1. Tonight, referees getting here late due to traffic, again it’s a 20-something minute delay and the girls lost their focus,” coach Sid Danner said. “You could see we came out and got behind the eight ball again and had to recover. Once we got there our focus got back but it took us too long at the start of the game.”
Weather delays over the past few weeks forced numerous games to be reshuffled as the team played in four games last week, finishing with a 3-1 record.
Earlier in the week, the weather was still cold but the team played. On Friday, it was the highest temperature the area had seen in months. The warmup was welcomed but it also caused minds to wander a bit as well.
When there weren’t three referees to start the game, it only added to the disorientation.
The Lady Panthers (7-5-3, 4-2-0 district) fell behind just five minutes into the match but responded with an Ashley Cox goal that bent around the post and hit the back of the net.
The match remained tied at 1-1 until just 15 minutes remained in the game. A Timberview shot was deflected at the net but ricocheted off the right post and rolled into the net for the go-ahead point.
The team got a few good looks late in the game but was unable to put anything past the Lady Wolves’ defense.
“I think we could’ve done better, we could’ve pressed a little more but we did pretty good,” sophomore Jessica Bogy said. “There was a little bit (of lacking focus) because we’ve beat them before and we thought we had the game. We started focusing at the end of the half and started turning things around a little bit.”
Danner was pleased with his team’s halftime adjustments but the refocused effort appeared to come just a bit too late.
The Lady Panthers dropped their second game in the last four outings with the second half of district set to start next week.
Getting the team to regroup for that final swing might come down to simply staying focused. It’s a luxury Midlothian simply can’t afford not to do.
“We have a big mix of girls. We have seven seniors, I think seven juniors and seven sophomores and one freshman. A lot of the sophomores and juniors are in the game and I think some of that is a little immaturity but not much,” Danner said. “I think it’s kind of an immaturity thing that we’re going into but we’ll get a handle on that.”
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