Just in time

5/12/2014

Late goal sends Lady Buffs to 1-0 win over Red Demons.

Late goal sends Lady Buffs to 1-0 win over Red Demons.

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

One thing is for sure, you'll never convince the Garden City Lady Buffaloes soccer team that the season doesn't provide its share of obstacles.

First, there's the weather — usually the wind.

Second, there's the occasional cold front that blows through and drops temperatures dramatically, as it did late Sunday afternoon, and then continued on through late Monday at Buffalo Stadium.

And those two obstacles certainly were prevalent for the showdown match between the Lady Buffs and their nearby rival, Dodge City.

It wasn't until the 76th minute that a scoreless deadlock was erased when Garden City junior forward Alyssa Martinez hit a quick side-foot shot that just squeezed inside the left goal post — and that was all they needed for a 1-0 victory.

It's been a tough stretch for the Lady Buffs, having now played five games in eight days with another on the menu at 5:30 p.m. today at home against Liberal to finish out their regular season.

"We're exhausted, but it's so nice to get a win, especially against Dodge City," Martinez said afterward.

Martinez, who has played predominantly on the defensive side of the field during her three seasons with the Lady Buffs, was just recently moved to the offensive end, and it paid dividends on a day where the wind wreaked havoc with any kind of normal passing, and shots, by both teams.

"The wind can be your enemy or your friend," Martinez said. "We knew when we got the wind and there wasn't a score, that we eventually were going to score and win the game."

Martinez said she had scant memory of the goal, other than that she got a brief view of the left side of the net area, took the ball in a crowded box and just kicked it in.

"Things happen fast in there, and you just react," Martinez said. "That's what I did. I knew if I didn't score, somebody else was going to."

After getting no shots on goal in the opening 40 minutes, the Lady Buffs pelted Dodge City goalkeeper Andrea Estrada with 13 shots in the second half, in addition to having 11 corner kicks, all of which resulted in no goals.

"You just wait for the opportunities and I took it," Martinez said. "This one is for the seniors. We wanted to beat Dodge, and we were able to do that."

The Lady Buffs were coming off a runner-up finish on Saturday in the Wichita North Cup where they lost 3-1 to potent Wichita Heights.

They were seeking to wind down the regular season with two league wins, including today's 5:30 p.m. home game against Liberal, that would perhaps give them a home field in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, which get underway next week. With a 9-6 overall record and 4-3 in the WAC, the Lady Buffs can perhaps secure home field for the first round of the postseason.

Playing the first half into the teeth of the strong north wind, the Lady Buffs defense held the Lady Demons scoreless and to just three shots on goal.

Dodge City nearly stole a goal when a high kick from the 20-yard line in the middle of the field nearly eluded Garden goalkeeper Ashlee Richman. The sophomore leaped high into the air and batted the ball away up and over the net to keep Dodge off the scoreboard. That came with 7:35 left in the half, and the Lady Demons never threatened in the remainder of the opening half. Only later would that heroic save prove vital to the final outcome of the game.

After Dodge managed just three shots in the first half, the Lady Demons never got within range of the goal in the second, as Richman finished with two saves. Estrada managed four saves for the Demons.

------

Dodge City 0 0 -- 0

Garden City 0 1 -- 1

1st Half

No Scoring

2nd Half

GC--Alyssa Martinez, unassisted, 76th minute.

Shots on goal--Dodge City 3, Garden City 13. Saves--Dodge City (Estrada 4), Garden City (Richman 2). Corner kicks--Dodge City 0, Garden City 11. Penalties--none.

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