Polk County held off an aggressive Madison team to post a 3-0 victory Monday in Western Highlands Conference boys soccer action in Marshall.
The Wolverines improved to 4-2-1 overall, 3-2 in WHC play, and now lead Avery by a game and a half in the race for the league’s automatic playoff berth.
Madison dropped to 2-5, 1-5.
Polk tallied its first goal in the 27th minute as Mateo Mendoza took a pass from Matias Akers on the left wing and played a hard shot at goal. That shot was deflected, but right back to Mendoza, who put the rebound into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Shortly before the end of the half, Polk struck again. Cameron Greve’s corner kick eluded a pair of leaping bodies and dropped into a pile of players in front of the net. Akers eventually got possession of the ball and tapped it into the goal for a 2-0 advantage.
With the Patriots upping the intensity in the second half, the Wolverines struggled to maintain possessions. A Madison tackle of Akers late in the half drew a penalty and red card, and Akers sent a low-rolling penalty kick around the Patriot defense and into the net for the final tally of the evening.
Polk County returns home Wednesday to face Owen before hosting Madison on Thursday. Both games are set to kick off at 6 p.m. in G.M. Tennant Stadium.