Close losses bedevil Belton soccer team

Special to the Democrat-MissourianApril 25, 2014 

The Belton girl’s soccer team has out-scored its opponents this year 39-30. Unfortunately, that nine-goal differential hasn’t translated into a winning record, but the Pirates have turned the corner and are poised to finish strong.

Their record stood at 4-8 after it played host to its tournament last week. However, five of those eight losses are by one goal and two losses occurred in sudden death overtime.

Last week the Pirates lost to Pleasant Hill 2-1 April 16 and Clinton 4-3 April 17 in the tournament. The loss to Clinton was their second sudden death defeat this season.

Belton opened up the game against Pleasant Hill by scoring the first goal despite a formidable Chick defense and a stiff north wind. Pleasant Hill tied the score during the first half and then added the winning goal midway through the second half.

“This is a young team,” Belton head coach Carlos McField said. “If we can just keep our focus for 80 minutes we could win a lot of these close games.”

The Pirates had that opportunity the next night against the Clinton Cardinals, however a short mental lapse kept Belton from brining home a victory once again.

“Things were going pretty well for us, then we gave up a couple of quick goals right before half time,” McField said. The Cardinals scored two goals within two minutes, and held the lead until the Pirates’ Taylor Evans tied the game with one minute remaining in regulation.

“We fought hard and with about a minute to go Taylor Evans scored the tying goal to put the game into overtime,” McField said.

The emotional adrenalin didn’t last long enough as Clinton scored the winning goal in overtime.

Belton rebounded on April 19, defeating the Ruskin Eagles 13-0. The Pirates carried that momentum into last Tuesday’s match against Raytown as well. The Pirates defeated the Bluejays 3-2 in overtime. Dani Austin provided the winning goal.

Belton has a favorable schedule the rest of the season. With eight games remaining, only one opponent has a winning record. If they can stay focused, the Pirates expect to be primed and ready by the time district play begins.

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