Former Matanzas player Mary Pickett scored FPC's final goal of the night.
At times throughout the 2019-20 season, Flagler Palm Coast’s girls soccer team has struggled on offense. But not even 20 seconds into FPC’s match against crosstown rival Matanzas the night of Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Bulldogs Mary Pickett found herself with the ball just outside the Pirates’ box.
“I was about to lose it,” she said, “so I just toe-tapped it, hoping my teammate was there.”
Forward Josephine Kristiansen, a foreign exchange student, was.
Kristiansen rocketed the ball toward the Pirates’ goal. It hit the keeper’s finger tips, but still found its way into the back of the net.
“It just felt so good,” she said.
Pickett added: “We’ve been working on that so hard in practice. It just felt good that our work paid off.”
The Bulldogs earned their 10th victory of the season on Tuesday night, defeating the Pirates 3-0 on FPC’s senior night. The Bulldogs, who beat the Pirates 4-1 earlier this season, haven’t lost to Matanzas since the 2015-16 season.
“We dominated the game,” Bulldogs head coach Pete Hald said. “The score doesn’t really show that, though.”
In addition to scoring, the Bulldogs have sometimes struggled winning 50-50 balls and playing physically.
There was none of that against the Pirates.
“They did what I asked them to do,” Hald said. “That’s what I try to look for. I’m happy with the result. It’s what I expected. We just have to do the same stuff going forward.”
Pickett, a team captain for the Bulldogs, previously played at Matanzas the past two seasons before transferring to FPC for her senior year. After the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead following a goal by Taylor Murphy in the first half, Pickett scored the Bulldogs’ final goal of the game with just under 35 minutes to play in regulation.
But with fewer than 20 minutes to play, Pickett took a pass inside Matanzas’ box, bounced it off her chest and in one fluid motion, slammed the ball into the Pirates’ goal.
The score was waived off after she was called offsides — despite protests from her coaches and teammates.
“It hurt so bad,” she said. “It would have been the best goal I’ve ever scored.”
Pickett said playing against her former team gave her an odd feeling. She’s still friends with many of the players. But that changes once the game starts.
“Those are my friends, but I’m not going to be their friend during the game,” she said. “I transferred here to become a better player and coach Hald has made me one. I came here to win, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”