Polk shuts down Madison in conference opener

Polk County senior Cameron Capozzi races through the Madison defense during Monday's action.

Lennox Charles and Polk County’s soccer squad might have been Monday night the unhappiest group ever to win a conference opener.

Polk County notched a 2-0 victory over Madison in a Western Highlands Conference battle in G.M. Tennant Stadium, but in the wake of the win, team members and Charles immediately began talking about all the things that didn’t go as hoped.

It was a long conversation.

“Their best player (Ellie McTaggart) was out with an injury and I think another of their good players has a back injury,” Charles said. “We’ll take any break we can get. We’ll definitely take that.

“We were second to the ball a lot of times. I thought we were sloppy with our touches. I don’t know if that’s being on this field for the first time this season. I didn’t feel like our energy level was where it needed to be.”

The Wolverines (2-1, 1-0), though, put together enough offensive bright spots to back the second straight shutout for goalkeeper Malena Roman. Polk County took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when Ava Marino scored on a feed from Georgia Garrett.

The Wolverines then put the game away in the second half with 24:43 remaining when Reese Alley’s hard cross from the right wing found Baylee Love at the back post. Love quickly buried the pass in the back of the net for the final margin.

Madison dropped to 0-3-1, 0-1 with the loss.

The Wolverines return to action on Friday, making the short trip to Landrum for a non-conference clash.