It was a happy homecoming Saturday for the Central Christian College women’s soccer team.
The Lady Tigers, with just 12 healthy players, gutted out a 2-1 victory over Central Baptist College for their first MCAC win of the year and second overall. They have split their two conference matches and are 2-9-1 overall.
Marianna Mercer’s goal with 12 minutes left in the game, off a Haley McMath assist, proved to be the game-winner. CCC had led 1-0 at the half on a Mercer goal, after a nice 1-2 setup by Summer Williams and Kaitlyn Bevel.
Central actually was outshot 13-10, but Twila Smedley came up big in goal with six saves.
“I am pleased with the result today and for the girls,” Central coach Scott Fogarty said. "It's always nice to get a win, and a bit sweeter when it is on homecoming. We were able to start feeding Haley McMath and Kaitlyn Bevel down the wings in the second half and it really helped us going in attack. I am also very pleased for Marianna. She's worked really hard to improve her game, help our build up play, but it's important for a forward to get goals. I knew she would find her scoring boots eventually.”
Central is off until Saturday when it makes the 10-hour trip to Iowa to play Waldorf College.
• Central men 3, Central Baptist 3 — Just when it appeared all was lost, Sebastian Diaz Carbo saved the Tigers in what was a brutally physical contest.
Central Baptist’s Edward Wishart scored his second goal of the game with 3:41 to go for a 3-2 CBC lead, but Diaz Carbo had an answer 43 seconds later to tie things up.
Diaz Carbo’s goal with 15 minutes left in the game had given Central a 2-1 lead, but the CCC defense broke down and gave up two goals to Wishart.
Central had opened the scoring just 6 minutes into the game on a shot by Jeremy Brooker, assisted by Joshua Taylor, one of three he had on the day.
It wasn’t the result Central coach Aaron Hoxie had hoped for, but at least it wasn’t a loss.
“I am very proud of how our team battled against a physical and good soccer team,” Hoxie said. “We will be down three players due to injuries after late tackles, but that's soccer. It's a great chance for other guys to step up and produce. Second, our defenders were solid all game. That sounds weird after being scored on three times, but they were handed gifts in prime positions, while we were punished for our work. Third, I am grateful that we got a positive result, despite not playing our best. We were unable to connect after losing our point player when he took a direct knee to his eye. The nature of the foul fit into the overall scheme of the game, but that's beside the point. After he went down, we became predictable and not able to sustain any sort of threat on goal for lengthy periods of time. Recently, we have been on the losing end of games after playing well, so to get a result like this is good for the morale going into Bellevue.”
The Tigers, 6-3-1, play at home Wednesday against nationally ranked Bellevue, with game time 5 p.m.