Millbrook’s 2-1 win over Broughton was one of the rare sporting events in which the box score tells the game’s entire story.
Both teams are still three matches into the season, but Millbrook managed to put together two impressive halves to Broughton’s one.
Both coaches thought that made the difference in the match.
“I thought in the first half we did a little better job of hitting our players,” Broughton coach Izzy Hernandez said. “During the second half, we seemed to be doing more chasing than playing, and that’s not conducive if you’re looking to win the match.”
With the match tied 1-1 at the end of the first half, Millbrook coach Matt Edwards preached the importance of sticking to the team concept at halftime.
“We talked about sticking with it,” Edwards said. “We had our game plan, we had our formation, we had our shape.
“We just wanted to stick with it.”
Edwards’ message apparently resonated with his team as Alexis Pendergraft scored the go-ahead goal in the 45th minute.
The goal came off an assist from Erin Harris.
“It was a good team goal,” Edwards said. “Erin Harris hit a really nice ball. I’m really proud of Erin for making that pass and Alexis for hitting it.”
Though Edwards was happy with the lead, he wanted his players to be prepared for a run by a Broughton team he had high praise for.
“At the end of the game, we had to really buckle down because they weren’t going to pack it in down one,” he said.
“They weren’t going away. Some teams we hope to run out of the building, but that’s not going to happen here.”
Broughton’s lone goal came on Clay Weaver’s driving shot in the 13th minute of the first half.
Hernandez said he saw some things he liked in his Caps, despite the loss.
“During the first half I could see some of the progression in the squad,” Hernandez said. “I was pleased in segments, but not for the full 80 (minutes).”
Despite having a large number of underclassmen on his team, Edwards was thrilled at his Wildcats’ poise and resilience after allowing Broughton to tie the game.
“A lot of times in the past our teams have gotten impatient,” he said. “We’ve given up one goal and they want to try to fix everything with one pass.
“They were able to string passes together, be patient, and wait for the right opportunity instead of just launching prayers.”
He also praised his team’s ability to work together, which is something he thinks will carry his team a long way this season.
“I really want them to trust each other enough to keep passing the ball and not try to do it individually,” Edwards said. “When we’re passing, we’re good.
“When we’re dribbling, we’re mediocre, and we want to be good. To win in this conference, you’ve got to be good, sometimes great.”