Senior Mattie Whitaker scores both of her team's goals on Friday
DIXON, Mo. — In a game that was quiet otherwise, senior Mattie Whitaker scored two goals for the Dixon Lady Bulldogs in their soccer game against Father Tolton in Dixon Friday night.
Lady Bulldogs coach Ron Bodkins said his team was a little slow coming out of the gates during their 2-0 win, but experience shoulders a large part of the blame for that.
“We're a very young and inexperienced team,” Bodkins said. “I've got a lot of juniors on the team that have never played before and a lot of freshmen.”
Regardless, his team, now 3-0, came away with the win.
Starting out the game, neither team seemed all that eager to play and were more cautious than anything, not taking many chances on offense.
Whitaker broke the silence when she opened up scoring in the game with 12:26 left in the first half.
She headed a throw-in behind the defense and tapped the ball in from in front of the goal.
After that, everything got quiet once more and 1-0 was the halftime score.
That didn't bode well with Bodkins.
“My girls seemed to come out a little lazy in the first half,” Bodkins said. “They didn't do much communication in their passes, but they had a lot stronger second half and worked better as a team.”
True to Bodkins' statement, the Lady Bulldogs kept things much more exciting in the second.
Dixon had great success with the through-ball, keeping Father Tolton's keeper on her toes for the rest of the game.
“We have a lot of speed up front,” Bodkins said. “So we work on a lot of speed and through-balls. We try to keep it outside and force opponents to open up the middle of the field to give Mattie and [junior] Haley [Rickerson] room to work.”
One such through-ball was with 3:42 remaining in the game, reaching Whitaker.
Whitaker took the ball into the box, was manned-up by a Trailblazer defender, but that didn't stop her.
The senior forward stopped on a dime, let the defender run by her, used her left foot to fire on the goalkeeper and score her second goal of the game.
Whitaker called the move her “specialty.”
“I run beside them and I'll watch to see if they get a step ahead of me and then I turn back on them,” Whitaker said. “If I get it right on my left foot, I can kick it just as hard [as my right].”
Whitaker understands the importance of being able to use both feet to kick.
“Using two weapons works better than one,” Whitaker said.
Dixon will host Laquey on Thursday, April 4 for their next game.