Due to weather and field conditions, the Mexico varsity girls soccer game originally scheduled for March 16 at home against Winfield was rescheduled for Thursday.
Because that became the final home game of the 2017-18 regular season, that also made it Senior Night. With that came all the energy and excitement you might expect and it started paying early dividends at 35:21 on a goal by the Lady Bulldogs Diane Mendez.
Winfield was able to counter shortly there after. But, at 26:40 it was Rosanna McKeown that scored to give Mexico a 2-1 lead at halftime which, after several twists and turns, eventually led to the Lady Bulldogs coming out ahead 4-3.
"This is my first group of seniors as a head coach, so this is obviously a very emotional evening. So walking away with a win from the field in your final game is a great feeling," said coach Haley Schafer. "We had a pregame discussion. It's Senior Night. Emotions are high. We have a lot of pride playing for our seniors and I think that helped us get off to a good start."
The next goal of the game didn't come until 30:43 of the second half when the Lady Bulldogs Reagan Forrest hit nothing-but-net to give her team a 3-1 advantage. That set the stage for Mendez to then score once more for Mexico at 13:35 to make it a three-goal game.
"We are facing some sickness right now. Sophie Mckeown, one of our center-midfielders, a senior and a huge component to our team was out sick tonight," Schafer said. "We came out high with some Senior Night excitement, but this is three weeks in-a-row with three games or more. Just a lot of soccer right now. We're all tired and we're all hurting a little bit, so I've been trying to use a lot of substitutes and getting new bodies in. We got a little complacent with the score, but we were able to get the win."
What came next for Winfield was a late-game rally that featured scores at 11:28 and 7:22. That's when the Lady Bulldogs stopped sitting back on defense and stepped up with greater aggression and caused just enough problems for the opposition that time ran out before they could mount another serious offensive attack.
"We start districts on Monday at Moberly against Moberly. It's always tough to play a team in their home town, but it's also tough to beat a team three times and Moberly has beat us twice," said Schafer. "Those were two very close games, so we're ready for them again. It was nice to see that being our matchup because that's definitely a team we feel we can compete with. Hopefully we're healthy and we have the same energy and intensity on Monday.