The Bulldogs' Emily Puentes scored 3 minutes into the second half to tie the game.
Throughout much of Flagler Palm Coast girls soccer team’s district clash with rival Spruce Creek on the night of Wednesday, Nov. 28, Bulldogs coach Pete Hald was frustrated.
He described the first half, which the Hawks led 1-0, as “just awful.”
“We let the ball come to us when we should have been going up to get it. They were beating us to the ball every time,” Hald said. “I call it pansy soccer.”
At halftime, he laid out what his team needed to do to be successful in the second period, and it didn’t take too long for the message to sink in.
Nearly 3 minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs’ Brielle Landry heaved the ball into the box on a throw-in. Taylor Murphy flicked the ball to a wide open Emily Puentes, and the senior midfielder put an uncontested shot into the back of the net.
“It was huge because we weren’t going to get many chances against a team like that,” Puentes said. “You have to finish them when you can.”
The Bulldogs and Hawks scared each others’ nets a handful of times throughout the remainder of the contest, but they game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“It’s frustrating to end like that, but they’re a good team,” Hald said. “I think we have a better game in us.”
The Bulldogs play Spruce Creek twice per year, and it’s been tough game for well over a decade. The Bulldogs lost to the Hawks 2-0 at Spruce Creek in their first meeting last season but got revenge at home, winning 2-1.
“There’s times when we have a better team and they outplay us, and there’s times when they have a better team and we outplay them. But it’s usually pretty even,” Hald said. “It’s always a battle.”