Norris girls soccer starts winning streak after loss to Gretna
By, Austin Hough, The Voice News - April 19, 2018
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Austin Hough, The Voice News
Norris midfielder Jenae Tilford boxes out the Lincoln Lutheran defender in the Titans’ 2-0 victory over the Warriors on Friday afternoon.
FIRTH – For weeks, Norris girls’ soccer head coach Dylan Kendall had been calling this stretch of games the “murderers’ row” for his team on the season. A four-game stretch against Elkhorn, Waverly, Pius X and Gretna that would see the Lady Titans play four of the top teams in the state of Nebraska.
That stretch of games came to a painful ending last Tuesday, as Norris lost 9-0 to Gretna. The Dragons are considered the best team in the state, and they showed why against the Lady Titans.
“This is your best team in the state by far,” Kendall said of Gretna. “We showed some promise right away, but then we lost some of our focus. The level of competition from Gretna is just different.”
The loss put Norris at 3-5 on the season, but with its hardest part of the season out of the way, the Lady Titans had a chance to rebound with a strong second half of the season.
“This kind of gives us a chance to re-start. It’s a fork in the road. You can either dwell on this one, or go the other way with it,” Kendall said.
Norris didn’t dwell on the loss, as they came back last Thursday to defeat Plattsmouth, 3-1. Freshman Molly Ramsey scored twice, and junior Jenae Tilford added another goal in the comeback victory over the Blue Devils. Senior Valerie Gabel made seven saves in the win.
The Lady Titans carried that momentum into Friday, defeating Lincoln Lutheran 2-0 in overtime. It was a windy afternoon in Firth, with gusts over 30mph. The playing conditions were not ideal for either team throughout the game.
After 80 minutes of no scoring, the game went to overtime. In the first 10-minute overtime session, Ramsey scored to finally break the tie between Norris and Lincoln. Ramsey then scored again in the second overtime period to give Norris the 2-0 victory.
“We’ve lost to Lincoln Lutheran in penalty kicks the last two years, and I think those memories were coming back for some of the girls,” Kendall said. “They wanted to win this one badly.”
The two-game winning streak after losing to Gretna was encouraging for Kendall.
“What that tells me is that they bought in to the fact that the tough part is over and we have a new schedule,” Kendall said. “We came focused against Plattsmouth and we really controlled the game against Lincoln. They believe and are such a tight-knit group. That makes a big difference.”
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