Lady Wolverines win again

Westfield/Brocton tops Randolph, 3-1, improves to 4-0 on the year

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Westfield/Brocton’s Katie Bodenmiller looks upfield during Tuesday’s game. Bodenmiller scored all three of her team’s goals in a 3-1 win.

WESTFIELD — So far this season, the Westfield/Brocton Lady Wolverines haven’t faced much adversity. In fact, three games in, the Lady Wolverines had not even allowed a goal.

On Tuesday, the Lady Wolverines finally saw a shot make its way past 2018 All-Star goalkeeper Angel Busch, but afterward Busch shouted to her team, “It’s just one. We’re alright.”

They certainly were just fine.

Westfield/Brocton came out on top of Tuesday’s non-league girls soccer contest against the Randolph Cardinals, 3-1, at the NorthLake soccer complex to improve to 4-0 on the season.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Westfield/Brocton coach Neil Huber. “Good teams find ways to win. Randolph brought their A-game. The improvements we’ve seen in them are phenomenal, and I like that we rose up to the challenge.”

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Westfield/Brocton’s Laura Johnston (3) fights off Randolph’s Piper Keyes (11) for possession during Tuesday’s non-league girls soccer game at the NorthLake soccer complex, in Westfield.

One goal wasn’t enough to beat the Lady Wolverines (4-0, 1-0) because of another outstanding offensive performance by Westfield/Brocton’s Katie Bodenmiller. After a shot went just wide less than two minutes into the contest, Bodenmiller found the back of the net for the game’s first goal in the seventh minute of the game.

Bodenmiller and Westfield/Brocton’s Juli Smith each narrowly missed on scoring chances over the next 10 minutes, but Bodenmiller found the back of the net again in the game’s 26th minute off a stellar assist by Haleigh Dellow — her second helper of the day. Westfield/Brocton held a 2-0 lead and seemed poised to cruise to another victory.

Then, with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, Randolph (0-4) got on the board. Tyra Clark broke away from the Westfield/Brocton defense and buried a shot under the crossbar and over the head of Busch for the first goal of the year against Westfield/Brocton. The final two minutes of the first half ticked away without issue, leaving a 2-1 score at the break.

“You could see the energy on the bench was escalated,” said Randolph coach Alexa Troutman. “On the field too, that did a lot for us. That really got our momentum going.”

“Randolph played really well,” said Huber. “They’re always fun to play against.”

The first half of the second period stayed evenly-matched. Then, Westfield/Brocton put the game away on the foot of their leading goal scorer, as Bodenmiller scored to complete the hat trick. Through four games, Bodenmiller has nine goals — tied for second in Section VI.

“It’s always great to have a pure, natural scorer like Katie (Bodenmiller),” said Huber. “She does provide a completely different element to our team. It makes teams more aware of us, and it’s going to open up the game for a lot of our other players. … We have girls that are going to score, and if we can add that extra element to take the pressure off Katie, that’s going to be phenomenal.”

Randolph goalkeeper Miranda Waterman kept the Cardinals in the game until Bodenmiller’s final tally.

“Our keeper really kept us in the game as much as she could,” said Troutman. “She really helped us out today.”

While a one goal lead may have been enough already with how the Lady Wolverines defense has played all season, a two goal lead was more than enough. Westfield/Brocton cruised the rest of the way for the victory. Busch finished with 13 saves in net.

“I think getting scored on, finally, takes a lot of the pressure off us now and we can move forward,” said Huber. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I knew these girls could respond well and they did.”

Moving forward, Randolph hopes for its first win of the season on Thursday, at home against Salamanca in the Cardinals’ league opener.

“We have a young team. We’re working. We have a lot of girls who want to win,” said Troutman. “We need to work on keeping possession in the final third and attacking in the final third. … We need to start connecting passes and getting more shots on goal.”

Westfield/Brocton hopes to improve to 5-0 on Thursday, in the second league game of the year for the Lady Wolverines, against Pine Valley on the road.

“I’m excited for Thursday’s game,” said Huber. “Pine Valley is always playing well and always coming hard.”

Twitter: @bradencarmen