BRADFORD - Wednesday evening the Lady Olympians of Oxbow played host to the Randolph Galloping Ghosts in a soccer match both teams desperately needed to win to avoid falling to 0-3. Oxbow had lost their first two games by six goals each, while Randolph lost a pair of close match-ups including a 1-0 loss to Northfield last Friday.
Both teams traded goals in the first half, with Oxbow Captain Amanda Wheeler netting the game's first goal just five minutes in.
Twenty minutes later Randolph freshman Emily Grady would tie the game at one goal apiece. Oxbow Junior Wren Smith put the Olympians back ahead with less than eight minutes to go in the half, but Grady answered once again, leaving the score tied at halftime.
Wheeler explained how a half-time speech from Oxbow Coach Andrew Flaherty helped turn things around for the Olympians.
"Our coach wasn't very happy with us, so he really wanted to emphasize us working harder together, working as one unit rather than individual play," said Wheeler.
Co-Captain Becca Towle added that at halftime, "usually his best advice is 'how competitive do you want to be this season?'"
The second half got off to a sizzling start, with Randolph Junior Mikaela Farmer netting a goal just forty three seconds into the second half. Just thirty seconds later, however, Towle would have a chance to tie the game on a penalty kick attempt.
"My penalty kick... We'll take it!" said Towle with a smile.
Towle would go on to dominate the center of the field for the rest of the game, and scored another goal - the game winner - for the Olympians.
When asked about her game-winning goal, Towle said "we talk a lot about taking our shots outside, that's where we're going to be strong, and that's where I was strong today."
With their first win of the season secured, the Olympians can now start to build momentum for the rest of the season.
"I think we kind of (in the second half) caught on to moving as one more, so going into the future we just need to trust ourselves, trust our teammates, and work on finishing," said Wheeler.
The Olympians will have a chance to even their record at 2-2 on Saturday when they visit Woodstock.
Randolph returns to the field Friday against Williamstown.