Coach Cory Nix attributes much of the team’s struggles to youth, but he said that it’s been encouraging to see the team of mostly freshmen and sophomores finding success on occasion.
The Lady Wolverines — whose leading scorer from a year ago, Caitlin Tongco, is now playing at Georgia Southern — traveled to Jekyll Island for a tournament in late March and received a boost in their confidence.
Woodstock faced a talented team from Lee County and managed a 1-0 victory as sophomore Jordan Barham took advantage of a free kick for the lone goal of the game. Abbey Booz made 16 saves for the shutout.
The Lady Wolverines (6-7, 1-4 Region 5AAAAAA) also beat Galloway and Statesboro.
Against Galloway, Booz split time in goal with Alex Armstrong and the pair combined for five saves. Freshmen Mia Penton and Summer Montgomery scored in the 2-1 victory.
“We pretty much dominated this game the whole time, but the quality of the other team was not great,” Nix said of Galloway.
Armstrong recorded the shutout against Statesboro as Woodstock won 1-0. Sophomore Gianna Penton delivered an assist to fellow sophomore Kaleigh Miller, who connected for a shot from just inside the 18-yard box with 3 minutes let in the first half.
Emma Shaw started her first game of the season in the center midfield, and Nix said she excelled.
Nix said the team played well together and learned a lot on the trip.
“It was a great trip and we had fun,” he said. “We had a lot of time to bond together and that was the best part of this trip.”
After returning from Jekyll Island, reality hit a bit — and, according to Nix, it stings.
Woodstock was shut out in consecutive games against Milton, Roswell and Lassiter before pulling off a 2-0 win over Wheeler in overtime Tuesday.
Against Milton, the Lady Wolverines were without Booz in the goal and struggled in her absence. On the plus side, Nix was able to use his junior varsity goalkeeper, who will move into the role as the varsity starter next season.
In each of the games, it was the offense that struggled to put anything together.
Nix said it wasn’t until the overtime win against Wheeler that the team finally put the ball in the net — after more than 160 minutes of scoreless play.
“My girls didn’t play well in the first half, but in the second half, we stayed on Wheeler’s side of the pitch and had several shots, but couldn’t make them count,” Nix said. “So, in the second half, we played a whole lot better and with passion, but couldn’t find the back of the net, so we had to go to overtime.”
In the first of two 5-minute overtime periods, Woodstock scored twice.
Barham nailed a penalty shot past the Wheeler goalkeeper to put her team on the board. After the goal, the Lady Wolverines went on the attack again, Miller took the ball into Wheeler territory and passed to Montgomery, who finished with a goal.
Woodstock stalled the ball in the second overtime to pick up its first region win of the season.
Now, Woodstock will prepare to face archrival Etowah tonight at 5:30 p.m. Etowah is still in playoff contention, and the Lady Wolverines have a chance to play spoiler against their Towne Lake neighbor.
“We just need to show up and play,” Nix said.