By TIM IRVING
Holley girls soccer had all the motivation they needed to finish the regular season on a strong note, facing Wheatland-Chili for the second time in five days.
“We just lost to them on Saturday, 1-0, so this was kind of a big deal for us,” Holley co-coach Renee Wolf said after the Hawks held on for a 2-1 victory over the Wildcats.
The Hawks dominated possession in the first half and with just over 15 minutes to play in the first half, Wheatland-Chili played a ball back to their defense and Samantha Bates out ran the defender to the ball and broke in alone, netting her team-leading 14th goal of the year.
In the second half, Holley turned up the heat on the Wildcats goal. Sophomore Emma Brady hit a ball off the cross bar during the onslaught.
But with 15:26 left in regulation, Wheatland’s two seniors pushed forward. Angie Burry got free on the right side and sent a short cross, Ava Cody ran on to the end of it and scored the first goal of her career at a key point.
The Hawks thought they had the lead back on header a minute later but the corner kick was ruled to have gone over the end line and come back in.
With under eight minutes to play, Holley again attacked, Alivia Wolf hit a ball off the cross bar, which bounced into the Wheatland penalty area where a defender was called for a handball.
Brady knocked in the resulting penalty kick for the winning goal.
“I thought they really stepped it up at the end, played hard at the end. They do a nice job of littles, little passing and playing together as a team,” Wolf said.
The Hawks (10-4-2) are in a position now to secure a home game for the Class C1 Sectionals starting next week.
“We had to have the win to hopefully move into fourth, depending on how Williamson does tomorrow (vs. Marion), “ Wolf and co-coach Emily Harms agreed. “This (victory) hopefully does a lot for our self-esteem, kind of pick us up and get us ready to move into Sectionals, keep the momentum going.”