Rose Hill rallies, tops Mavericks
MAIZE At halftime Tuesday, Rose Hill coach Jerry Treat gave his team a choice — maybe more like an ultimatum.
“I said you could run today, or run tomorrow, take your pick,” Treat said after the Rockets erased a 1-0 deficit with two second-half goals for a 2-1 Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League victory.
“I think we possessed the ball better, and with some effort, which helps. Talent doesn’t mean anything without desire.”
Forward Kalyn Pfaff sparked the attack, scoring the Rockets’ first goal with 31:23 to play in the game.
Pfaff said Treat had some stern advice for the Rockets at the break.
“He basically told us that we need to start trying, and we worked together a lot better as a team in the second half,” Pfaff said. “Everyone was hustling a lot better, so it really helped.”
Just six minutes later, fellow senior Miranda Raevsky, seeing her first shot blocked, kicked in the rebound for the eventual game-winner.
Maize South coach Marlon Rios said his team gave Rose Hill too much space in the second half, and the experienced Rockets took advantage of it.
“We were not very organized in the second half, and they were able to knock the ball a lot better, which allows them to find the open player,” he said.
The victory puts the Rockets (6-2), ranked second in Class 4-1A, in the driver’s seat for the AVCTL title and prolonged the frustration for Maize South (5-2), which went 0-3 against Rose Hill a year ago.
The Mavericks, third in 4-1A, struck first with 29:10 left in the first period, when midfielder McKenzie Miller took a pass from fellow freshman Ryann Burnett and beat Rockets goalkeeper MaKenzie Smith from the left side of the net. It would be the only time Smith was challenged all game.
In the second half, Rose Hill managed to keep the heat on Mavericks goalkeeper Caroline Howard, who faced 18 shots and made seven saves.
With scoring at a premium, the responsibility fell to the Rose Hill defense to protect Smith, and the Rockets responded with big games from defenders Dom Millsap and Mikayla Fisher, as well as senior Olivia Hull, whose headers at midfield effectively stymied the Maize South attack and ignited the Rockets’ offense.
Hull said winning the “50-50” balls helps the team’s confidence.
“If you can win the ball in the air, you’re in a good position to win the game because you’re more physical,” she said. “Winning headers brings that confidence level up.”
For Maize South, it was a learning experience and one to build on, Rios said.
“Our kids did good,” he said. “We hung with them, we were able to score the first goal, and we had opportunities, and we weren’t able to capitalize.”
First half – 1. Maize South, Miller (Burnett). Second half – 2. Rose Hill, Pfaff, (un.); 3. Rose Hill, Raevsky (un.). Shots – Rose Hill 8-10—18; Maize South 3-2—5. Saves – Rose Hill, Smith 0-0—0; Maize South, Howard 2-5—7.