Soccer, like real estate, is all about location, location, location.
Solanco freshman Meg Bailey was in the right place, at the right time — twice — and because she had the right location, she was able to place the ball in the back of the net. The ultimate right location.
Bailey’s strike, with 1:42 left in the first overtime, delivered a 2-1 Lancaster-Lebanon League win over Lancaster Mennonite on Monday.
It was a key early win for the host Mules (2-1 L-L, 5-3 overall) as they try to separate themselves from a crowded Section Three field behind Elco.
“They fought hard tonight,” Golden Mules coach Ken Yoder said. “It was just a real good win for our program. And we needed that section win after a couple of really closes losses. I felt like we dominated much of the game.”
They did, with a 12-4 edge in shots on goal and a 5-0 advantage in corners, not to mention where it really showed up, a 32-12 edge in offensive chances.
Still, despite that dominance, it felt like a game that could slip away given the right moment for Mennonite.
The Blazers (1-2, 4-4) took the early lead in the 12th minute as Kendra Coryell collected a ball from Eliana Dinse, and with a couple of touches buried her shot from the left side, 30 yards out. It was the Blazers’ second of three shots on goal in the first half.
The Mules evened the scoreboard three minutes into the second half as Alana Yoder took a pass from Kayden Bedwell, putting a shot on goal. Blazers keeper Keaidi Zhang deflected the strike, but couldn’t gain possession before Bailey put the rebound away.
That was the scoring, but not the action, in regulation as the Mules pressured LM’s defense.
“We need to learn how to finish,” Yoder said. “I felt it should’ve been 4-1.”
The Mules missed wide-open looks three times in regulation. With an open look at the left post in the 18th minute, Bedwell pushed a shot wide left. Five minutes after Bailey’s first goal, off Hannah Wood’s 29-yard free kick, Maya Dolan chipped a soft shot over the crossbar.
And, with 11 minutes left, Bedwell’s far post poke kissed off the post and rolled away.
“We all kind of stood there and we’re cheering,” Yoder said. “Next thing you know, it’s outside the goal. That seems to be how it breaks for us sometimes.”
With the first overtime near completion, Nicole Trout brought the ball down the right side for the Mules. She crossed to Gracie Unger, who found Bailey at the top of the 18 on the left side.
“She found me with a great pass,” Bailey said.
A great pass that earned a great finish.