Late-breaking Winfield girls run past GW
WINFIELD - Josee Erlandson and her Winfield teammates know that every time they step on the pitch, their opponent will never outwork them.
The Generals put in another workaday effort Tuesday evening with three goals in the final 12 minutes, 30 seconds in turning a nail-biter into a 3-0 runaway victory over George Washington.
A crowd of about 300 attended the matchup of last year's Class AAA state championship game in which Winfield defeated GW 4-2 in overtime.
"We weight lift on Sundays and just run every day,'' said Erlandson. "We do pushups. We condition all over the place.''
Erlandson gave the Generals (6-0) the lead for good with an unassisted goal with 12:30 left in the second half. After Patriots keeper Olivia Miller, who finished with eight stops, deflected a shot, Erlandson was there to clean it up for a 1-0 advantage.
"That got us pumped up,'' said Erlandson, who netted her second goal of the season and has been substituting for starter Katie Bryant, who is nursing a concussion.
Less than a minute later, Winfield took advantage of a GW error on a handball in the penalty-box area. Jayne Lawman converted the penalty kick in the upper-left corner of the net for a 2-0 edge at the 11:46 mark.
Mackenzie Pritt closed out the scoring for the Generals on an assist from Erlandson, whose shot went off the crossbar, with 1:51 remaining.
"We start the season with that level [of conditioning],'' said Winfield coach Marshall Hoff, whose assistant is David Bailey, the girls track coach.
"Conditioned players will make good decisions. We needed to get the ball back in our game style with possession and once we did, some doors started opening. Still a lot of work. It's good with players like Josee stepping up. That's the kind of team we have and the greatness of it. It's a good place to be right now.''
It was evident by Winfield's last goal that the Patriots were out of gas as the Generals won nearly every ball.
The Generals' defense didn't allow the Patriots (3-1) to put a shot on goal and have only yielded three scores in six games.
"Our girls are out of shape, that's what it was,'' said GW first-year coach Megan Johnson, a former all-state player for the Patriots. "We fell apart at the end. As much as I've been working them hard and running them, it just wasn't quite enough.''
Johnson said it's good to see in September what GW needs to improve on.
"I already have things rolling through my mind that we need to work on,'' she said.
"This is where I can fix things. We have a great group of girls and we have a great team. This is not something to be too upset over. It's early in the season.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.