Overcoming a sluggish start, the Woodinville Falcons broke a scoreless tie late in the second half with a pair of goals to beat Garfield 2-0 on October 3. The victory left Woodinville with a 7-2-1 record, while the Bulldogs remained winless on the season.
For the first 75:00 of the game, the outcome was in doubt. Woodinville’s subdued home crowd remained quiet for much of the night. Neither team got many shots on goal, and Falcon players often looked stagnant and out of sync.
But that was when a vigorous roar emanated from the Woodinville sideline, and boomed throughout the stadium.
"STEP IT UP, LADIES!" Falcon coach Nathan Davis exhorted. "WHERE’S THE ENERGY? WHERE’S THE HEART? YOU’VE GOT TO DIG DEEP TO FIND IT!"
A sense of urgency then took hold of the Lady Falcons. They passed the ball with a crispness that had been missing. They got lighter on their feet. They stayed disciplined in their formations. And then like a 1-2 punch, forward Lauren Bateman and midfielder Kelsie Neill each booted goals into the net, and victory was secured.
"When he was talking to us, personally I got a little frustrated," Bateman said afterward. "It gave me more energy and more fight to score because we were a little flat."
"We just kept putting the ball up, wanting to score," Neill added. "We wanted to win this game."
A relieved coach Davis gave his thoughts on the psychology involved.
"It’s tough when you come out against a team that hasn’t had a lot of success this season," he said. "To come out with that same sort of drive and heart, that this is going to be a great game. Even for myself, the pre-game speech wasn’t as intense, and unfortunately it sets a tone where the girls think ‘Okay we’re going to win this game.’
"They sort of played a little bit easier and moved around, got offensive, and we lost our ability to play our game," he said. "We were sending 4, 5 or 6 girls on the front line, rather than winning the ball in the middle of the field and passing the ball around and making things happen. We were forcing a lot of stuff.
"As we did that, we got frustrated, then we got down on ourselves, and we started rushing things and got sloppy. Then the momentum shifts, the other team gets excited because they think ‘Hey we’re playing close to a good team!’
"We got down on ourselves and dug ourselves into a hole," he said. "But fortunately, we dug ourselves out of it."
Woodinville next plays Roosevelt on Thursday October 10th and Pop Keeney Field at 7:30 p.m..