The Falcons managed to keep the Dragons scoreless in the first half with solid defense, but a second-half breakdown resulted in the Freedom loss.
Bishop O'Dowd's Frankie Roth scored an unassisted goal three minutes into the second half, giving the Dragons the 1-0 lead. Nine minutes later, BOD's Iman Bearde scored another unassisted goal. Roth found the back of the net once more in the 65th minute to give BOD the 3-0 advantage. Time expired before Freedom could put any points on the scoreboard.
Head coach Marc Crockett was disappointed in his players' lack of intensity, noting their tendency to wait for the ball to reach them before charging downfield. "In the second half they were beating us to the ball. We would come to the ball and stop while they were playing through everything," Crockett said. "Once they got to the ball their attack was very fast. That gave them a lot of options."
Against Carondelet, Crockett saw just the kind of intensity he was looking for. "They were pumped up. They felt they could beat anyone," he said. "Bishop O'Dowd is probably at the same level as Carondelet, so that was kind of a wake-up call that you have to play with the same amount of intensity in every game. We let down a little bit and now we know what we need to do."
Crockett hopes his players will learn from this experience, especially given the tough schedule that lies ahead. "Carondelet, Clayton Valley, Liberty and possibly Deer Valley are going to be our toughest competitors in league this season and we play them right off the bat," he said. "So we really need to come together as a team."
This season Crockett relies on senior striker Kelsee Wiley and sophomore forward Melissa Carrol to provide a boost on offense. "Kelsey wants the ball," Crockett said. "Her leadership really stands out and she has such a positive attitude."
Seniors Karissa Hansen and Cassie Biglow add experience and leadership to this young team.
The Falcons still struggle with defensive consistency but Wiley, a four-year varsity player, believes it's nothing to team can't overcome. "We have a lot of talent this year. I think this could be one of our strongest seasons yet," she said. "Our goal is to make it to NCS. We just have to play hard and focus."
Freedom hosts Pittsburg on Tuesday afternoon. The JV team plays at 3:30 and the varsity squad follows at 5:45 p.m.