Waldman again produces game-winner as Wolverines check Hilltoppers in overtime

R-S Central scored early, Polk County scored late.

And when overtime arrived, Ella Waldman once again played the role of hero for the Wolverines.

Waldman scored her second match-winning goal of the season, her tally and Lauren Dotson’s insurance goal later in overtime lifting Polk County to a 3-1 victory in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference match in G.M. Tennant Stadium.

The night didn’t begin as Polk County might have hoped as R-S Central (1-4, 1-2) scored in the game’s fourth minute, with Kaylin Hooper taking advantage of a Polk defensive lapse to score from the top of the penalty area.

And as dusk became night and the match progressed, it appeared Hooper’s goal would stand. Polk County (2-4, 2-1) spent much of the final 25 minutes of regulation in R-S Central’s half of the field, constantly pressuring the Hilltopper defense. But the Wolverines could never find the net with a shot and missed a couple of outstanding scoring chances when crossing passes barely failed to connect with open players in front of the goal.

Polk County’s fortunes, though, changed in the 76th minute. An R-S Central foul gave the Wolverines a free kick deep on the left wing. Susanna Ashworth took that kick and hit a line drive on a perfect angle into the right side of the goal, evening the match.

Ashworth’s goal re-energized Polk heading into the two 10-minute overtime periods, and Waldman, who beat Chase last week with a late-match header, wasted no time in giving the Wolverines an advantage in overtime. The junior gained possession in the Hilltoppers’ end of the field, dribbled past a defender, drove into the penalty area and hit a low line drive inside the right post for a 2-1 Polk lead.

The Wolverines then added another goal early in the second extra 10-minute overtime period as Dotson headed an Ashworth throw-in, flicking the toss over her head and over the R-S goalkeeper.

Polk County is set to return to the field on Thursday, traveling to East Henderson for a 6 p.m. match that will also be shown live on NFHS Network.

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