Whittell wakes, quiets Quincy
The National Center for Sleep Disorders might want to contact Whittell’s girls for advice, following their 3-2 home soccer win over Quincy on Tuesday.
After sleepwalking through the first half of the game, the Warriors woke up from an 0-2 nightmare to score three girls and win their league opener at home. Whittell head coach Mike Leeper said he couldn’t repeat the halftime speech he made to his team, but the Warriors dominated the second half.
“It was like a whole new world,” said Whittell head coach Mike Leeper. “The first half, we were flat. We had a lot of opportunities in the first 15 minutes, but we were flat.”
In the second half, Courtney Benvenuto, Corky Novotny, Jackie Laurian, Mandy Ralls and the Warriors took over. Quincy’s Amy Merrill and Amber Dolloff created a two-goal hole for Whittell in the first half, but the Warriors responded.
Novotny, in her first game back with the team, jump-started the offense just three and a half minutes into the second half, taking a through ball from Benvenuto and making the margin 2-1. Then, 16 minutes later, Ralls evened the score, picking up a loose ball off a cross, and heading it past Quincy’s keeper.
“I was just surprised it was even going to go in,” said Ralls, a junior halfback who had worked on that aspect of her game earlier in the week. “It looked like the keeper wasn’t ready for it.”
Whittell dominated the midfield, creating more chances, but couldn’t take the lead until Novotny scored her second goal, heading in a perfectly played penalty kick from midfield. Laurian, a freshman, picked up that assist, and an assist on Novotny’s first goal.
“We’re always better in the second half,” said Novotny, who scored two goals in her first game back since training with the Western Regional ski team this summer. “Once we score, it motivates the rest of us. We all get into it, and we want to win.”
Whittell improved to 4-3 overall (1-0 in Northern Nevada 3A league play) after winning the first game it played in nearly two weeks. Quincy dropped to 1-1 overall after the loss.
“I think that Whittell really controlled the ball in the second half,” said Quincy head coach Alan Morrison. “They really got to the ball in the midfield.”
The Warriors started beating Quincy’s trapping defense in the second half, and should remember the second half with Sept. 23 in mind: the two teams meet again in Whittell’s next game, at 3:30 p.m. in Quincy.
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