A mid-season slump for most teams includes dropping a few games, but not for Yukon girls soccer.
The Millerettes (9-2) came out Tuesday flat on the pitch, and it took penalty kicks to take a 2-1 victory over Edmond North (4-7).
“The best teams don’t go through the season without facing adversity and finding their way to get through,” coach Steve Scott said. “That’s what champions do. When things don’t go right and the way you don’t want them to go, you know you should be controlling different aspects of the game, you should get things done a certain way.
“They’re just not happening the way we want them to happen.”
A tense start played the story to start the match; however, it ended with Yukon winning.
“I feel like we came out with the same energy, we just weren’t as connected or relaxed as we have been,” senior Myka Heimbach said. “I think we could have done better on that but we still made it happen.”
They made it happen during the game behind Heimbach’s 26th goal of the season and Bella Anson sealing the victory in PK’s.
Yukon stuck to their usual game plan in the first half, getting the ball to Heimbach. She scored at the 21:58 mark to put the Millerettes in the driver’s seat.
“In the first half, we played Myka and she was getting loose and getting opportunities,” Scott said.
The Yukon offense grew to a standstill in the second half thanks to an Edmond North defensive adjustment.
“In the second half and into overtime, every time the ball went to Myka, they were flooding her,” Scott said. “We didn’t create those diagonal balls to open that space up by hitting on wide players.”
Edmond North tied the match in the 44th minute, forcing PK’s.
But it wasn’t Heimbach coming to the Millerettes’ rescue once again. Anson was the hero for Yukon.
Up 3-1 in the PK count, Anson stepped up to the line and drilled the ball into the net over the Husky goal keeper.
The clutch win not only brought the Millerettes their ninth consecutive victory, it sealed a playoff spot as well.
“We didn’t know this was the game that got us into playoffs, coach told us after so it was a big surprise,” Heimbach said. “It was really good to hear that. The fact that we have games to play and we can potentially have home field advantage is just really exciting so I hope we can keep it up.”
Scott knows that his team has a long way to go before accomplishing any of those goals.
“The journey is not done, the mission isn’t over,” he said. “We have one thing ahead of us that we’re looking for and that’s a district championship. It’s not over but tonight we clinched the playoffs. “That’s something to be proud of.”
The players know what they’ve been doing works, and they’ll work to keep it up.
“We’ve really been more connected as a team and playing as a team and realizing what we have to do to win,” Heimbach said. “I think if we just continue doing what we’re doing, having the same attitude, working as hard as we can, we’ll definitely do well in the playoffs.”
U.S. Grant is next up for Yukon. The Millerettes hit the road Tuesday looking to end the season strong against a 2-10 team.