Polk County did everything right in the first half Thursday except score.
The Wolverines kept Patton pinned on defense, created shots, maintained possession – everything followed plan except finding the net.
That changed in the second half, as the Wolverines tallied twice in handing the Panthers a 2-0 setback in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference match in G.M. Tennant Stadium.
Polk County improved to 8-2-1, 4-1-1 in league matches. The win, combined with East Rutherford’s 5-2 loss at Brevard, moved the Wolverines into sole possession of second place in the MF7 race.
Patton dropped to 5-8-2, 2-5.
The Wolverines finally got on the scoreboard in the 46th minute. Jamilett Ramirez lofted a perfect corner kick that Charley Dusenbury outjumped a Patton defender to reach, heading the drive into the left corner of the net for a 1-0 Polk lead.
Gabby Savaia nearly scored again for the Wolverines moments later, just missing a shot from the penalty area. That kept the one-goal margin and kept the Wolverines and fans on edge as Patton began to push more aggressively for a tying goal.
Polk, though, finally gained some breathing room with 7:56 left in the match. From the right wing outside the penalty area, Jocelynn Ramirez chipped a pass toward the left post where Hayden Blackwell stepped in front of a Patton defender and, without letting the pass touch the ground, drilled a shot into the upper right corner of the net.
Patton wouldn’t come close to scoring in the final eight minutes, sealing the second straight shutout for the Wolverines.
Polk County will return to action following spring break with an MF7 showdown against conference leadear Hendersonville on Apirl 18.