After playing to a 1-1 tie in the first half with Crocker, the Dixon Lady Bulldogs scored two goals in the second half to defeat the Lady Lions 3-1

DIXON — After playing to a 1-1 tie with Crocker, the Dixon girls soccer team scored a couple of second-half goals to take the game 3-1 in Dixon on Monday.

While Dixon coach Ron Bodkins said he was glad the Lady Bulldogs, now 4-0, came away with the win, but he was not impressed by the effort his team showed in the first half.

“They came out awful lazy,” Bodkins said. “They were getting beat to the ball every time it was free and they don't play that way. They're a lot better team when they were aggressive.

“They were afraid of getting kicked, so they were hesitating. When they hesitate they're going to get beat, and they know that, but they have to get out of that mode.”

Dixon senior Mattie Whitaker scored the game's first goal with 34:48 left in the game off of an assist by senior Kristen McMillian.

The Lady Lions answered immediately when Heather Burton scored within the next minute.

Crocker coach Darren Boberg said he would have liked to see his players employ the cross-pass in front of the goal more, not just in the first half, but throughout the whole game.

“We wanted to bring it to the outside and then cross it to the middle, but we didn't do that as much as we should have,” Boberg said. “It's something to work on and hopefully we can hit it in the next game.”

Five minutes into the second half Whitaker was back at it on the offensive side.

She broke through Crocker's defense and easily won her one-on-one matchup with the goalkeeper, tapping the ball into the right side to put her team up by one.

Both teams then began to struggle putting together good offensive possessions.

Finally, junior Haley Rickerson broke the silence.

A Crocker defender was trying to clear the ball, but Rickerson had other plans.

“Ron always tells us to attack,” Rickerson said. “So when I saw the Dixon player had the ball near the goal I thought 'I'm just going to go attack her.' I ended up getting it and I decided to shoot, it banked in between the goalkeeper and the post. It was exciting.”

Bodkins calls Rickerson his junior “rookie.” Rickerson is in her first full year of varsity soccer. She attended just four practices her freshman year and last year she broke her ankle before the season.

What she lacks in experience, she more than makes up for in her speed and determination.

“She's fast and aggressive,” Bodkins said. “She's probably the fastest player on the team when she wants to be. And she gets better with each game. She's learning to use her body more to control the ball instead of raising her foot up to get a foot on the ball every time. ”

Rickerson said she is glad to finally be on the pitch.

“I love it,” she said. “Soccer is so much fun. It's a good team sport and I like playing with all the girls.”

For opposing players, they may not be as excited to see her on the field. Rickerson, as Bodkins said, is very aggressive and wants the ball more than the average soccer player.

“My parents always tell me to not be nice when I'm playing,” Rickerson said. “And one of our older players always fouled a lot so I decided I was going to catch up to her and get aggressive like her. Ron likes that.”

Rickerson's goal at 13:37 put Dixon up 3-1 and Crocker (1-1) couldn't put together a successful second half possession.

“The defense held up good,” Boberg said. “A few goals went through, but the midfield was strong and our forwards were strong. But their forwards were definitely fast and they gave us a challenge.”