Scoring from reserves a bonus in Fruita’s win
It used to be that nothing would go right for the Fruita Monument High School girls soccer team.
Now it appears as though nothing can go wrong.
Thursday night at Walker Field, the Wildcats (7-3-1, 3-1-1 Southwestern League) turned a 1-0 halftime lead into a 6-0 shutout of Central.
“We keep saying to the girls that they can’t come out flat against teams they already think they have a win against,” first-year Fruita Monument coach Eric Anderson said. “We made it clear that Central was playing better, and the first half was OK, but we made all the changes we needed to in the second half.”
Fruita Monument’s Sarah Mercer scored the Wildcats’ first goal in the fifth minute, but Fruita couldn’t find the back of the net for the rest of the half.
Despite the lack of scoring in the first half, the Wildcats kept attacking in the second half and finally cashed in.
Left midfielder Kenyon Hayward, who didn’t start the game, scored in the 42nd minute —then added another goal late in the game.
Hayward, a senior, said she focused on better shot execution Thursday night.
“I’ve been shooting the whole season, but they haven’t been finding the net,” Hayward said. “It’s been going too far or too wide, but tonight we had great passing so when I had a chance to shoot it, I took advantage.”
Hayward didn’t play soccer last season, instead choosing tennis, but returned this year and has enjoyed the Wildcats’ success.
Fruita Monument has won six of its past seven games.
“I missed soccer too much and when I left, we had lost 15 games in a row,” Hayward said. “So it just feels so good to win games.”
Hayward wasn’t the only bench player to contribute, something Anderson was pleased with. Jennis Hart scored the Wildcats’ final goal.
“To have (reserves) score goals is huge,” Anderson said. “Kenyon didn’t start but puts away two. By them playing like that, it gives us coaches a lot to think about.”
Fruita’s third goal came on an own-goal by Central (1-8, 0-6 SWL), and Warriors defender Madi Thomas was injured on the play.
Thomas was carried off the field with a left lower leg injury.
“That’s tough when one of your players goes down,” Central coach Jacob Pingel said. “But the girls played hard and showed their heart.”
Central goalie Marissa Brown finished with nine saves and the Wildcats had a total of 23 shots.
“We felt like this was some of the best offensive attack we’ve had,” Anderson said. “We connected on passes and got good chances.”