Polk County exploded for three second-half goals Monday night, rallying for a 3-1 win over Avery in a Western Highlands Conference girls soccer match in Wolverine Stadium.
On a chilly, windy evening, the Wolverines finally blew through Avery’s defense in the final 40 minutes, scoring two quick goals early in the half and adding a late insurance goal to remain in a tie for second place in the WHC.
The Wolverines are now 4-3 overall, 3-1 in WHC play. Avery dropped to 5-5, 2-2.
Polk County had its scoring opportunities in the first half. Just three minutes into the match, Ashley Love got free on a breakaway, but her drive from the right wing sailed just wide. some five minutes after Avery’s goal, the Wolverines received a penalty kick with 5:16 left in the half after an Avery handball in the penalty box.
But Avery goalkeeper Jillian Downing guessed right on Rhian Alley’s penalty kick, diving to her left to stop the shot and maintain the Vikings’ lead.
Reese Alley’s goal just six minutes into the second half, on an assist from Love, evened the score and set the stage for what proved the game-winner. As Alley floated a corner kick toward the back post, Avery and Polk players collided at the goal line, letting the ball fall free at the feet of Caroline Lee, who calmly tapped it in to give Polk County a 2-1 lead with 29:08 remaining.
Love barely missed scoring at the 11:01 mark, driving a low liner from the right side that richocheted off the left post. But the senior would not be denied, taking a long lead pass from Addie Lynch down the right side, outracing the Avery defense to do so, then dribbling deep into the box before sending a low line drive into the left corner of the net, giving Polk a 3-1 edge with 5:31 left in the match.
Monday’s game marked the first of four straight home games for the Wolverines, who host West Henderson on Wednesday.