By BRETT MARSHALL
The 2014 soccer season for the Garden City High School Lady Buffs got off to a heartbreaking start as they fell 4-3 in overtime at Wichita Northwest.
The Lady Buffs had rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit, tying the game in the 65th minute, and then taking a 3-2 lead on a Maria Rodriguez touch goal in the 67th minute.
But the Lady Grizzlies tied the game at 3 with an unassisted goal by Paige Achey in the 72nd minute to send the game into overtime.
In the 85th minute, the Lady Buffs were called for a foul in the goal box, resulting in a penalty kick, which was executed by Achey, who got it past Garden City goalkeeper Ashlee Richman.
Northwest got on the board first, scoring quickly in the second minute on a goal by Wendy Davis with an assist from Leslie Clark. Clark later assisted on a goal by Achey in the 38th minute to put the Lady Grizzlies up 2-1. Garden City's first goal came when Evelyn Rodriguez made a nifty pass to Amber Miller in the 11th minute.
In the second half, the Lady Buffs tied the game when Maria Rodriguez scored on a direct kick in the 65th minute, and then two minutes later took an errant pass from Northwest and knocked the ball into the goal for a 3-2 lead.
It was short-lived, however, as Achey scored her unassisted goal to send it into the extra period.
"It's a game we can tell where we are and what we need to work on," said head coach Joaquin Padilla of his Lady Buffs. "They are really down about the loss, but I'm proud of the way they played. It was a tough opener, but I thought we played a good game for the season opener. There's lots of positives."
Padilla said the team needed to work on being more compact in its defense and also wanted to work on improving its attack on offense.
"We did a good job of moving together. We made a lot of short, tight passes that moved the ball down the field," Padilla said. "And we need to work on our spacing and close the gaps some. That cost us two goals. We played much better than I would have thought for our first time."
The Lady Buffs will have a week to prepare for their next game, a Tuesday match against Goddard in the Goddard/Bishop Carroll Tournament. That will be a 5 p.m. contest at Goddard High School's stadium.
Garden City 1 2 0 -- 3
Wichita NW 2 1 1 -- 4
WNW--W. Davis, assist Clark, 2nd minute
GC--Amber Miller, assist Evelyn Rodriguez, 11th minute
WNW--Paige Achey, assist Clark, 38th minute
GC--Maria Rodriguez, direct kick, 65th minute
GC--Maria Rodriguez, unassisted, 67th minute
WNW--Achey, unassisted, 72nd minute
WNW--Achey, penalty kick, 85th minute
Shots--Garden City 11, Wichita Northwest 15. Saves--Garden City (Ashlee Richman 9), Wichita Northwest (Allison Lohner 6).