“Claire (Keith) passed it to me and all I did was go around the defender, which was a little surprising,” Latham said of her first goal this season. “Once I got around the defender, I just shot it in with my left foot.”
“That was a great goal she scored,” Nichols said of Latham’s tally. “To be that far away and be able to put it in, that was pretty awesome.”
The tying goal seemed to truly awaken the Bulldogs, which spent the next 10 minutes of the match firing in shot after shot on goal. For the match, OHS outshot Chariton 11-8.
“I know when I scored the goal, my momentum definitely went up,” Latham said. “When my momentum went up, it seemed like everyone’s momentum started to go up.”
Despite the renewed vigor of the Bulldog girls, Morris was equal to the challenge. The Chariton goalkeeper made 10 saves in the contest including several that kept OHS from taking the lead in the second half.
“She’s new to Chariton too. This is her first year on our team,” Nichols said of her team’s junior goalkeeper. “We haven’t had her in goal in a varsity match before this year, but she’s a great goalie that always gives us a chance to win.”
Even though Ottumwa had Chariton back on the ropes somewhat, the Bulldogs could not take their first lead of the night. That allowed one big charge by Chariton to allow Nichols a shot to put the Chargers on top. The Chariton junior fired a kick just past OHS goalie Averi Cash with 5:49 left in the second half to give the Chargers a 2-1 lead.
“We had our opportunities and we did a good job putting the pressure on in the second half; we just couldn’t get that go-ahead goal in,” McKenzie said. “I felt like it was coming and it was just a matter of time, but once [Chariton] put that second goal past us you see it totally deflate the girls. There wasn’t a lot of time left, either, so it was going to be hard to come right back.”