PLYMOUTH — At the start of the season, Argos Head Coach Jon Alcorn was concerned about his team’s ability to finish. How does nine goals in two games sound?
Speedy Lady Dragons junior striker Jami Patterson followed up her hat trick Tuesday with a pair of goals and an assist, and Argos handed rival Plymouth a 3-2 defeat at Kindt Soccerplex Thursday.
“Jami was doing everything right last year. She’s been doing this a long time, and I told her before the season this was going to be a break-out year,” said Alcorn. “Now she’s not just a shaky sophomore. Her first goal was just a monster, and that’s not one that she would’ve hit last year. We saw before in practice that she was ready to go. A hat trick in the first game and two tonight.”
The Dragons scored early as Patterson broke free for an unassisted goal to the far upper V from around 25 yards out in the sixth minute to put Argos up 1-0. Her soft-touch assist inside the 18-yard box to fellow junior forward Allison Flower five minutes into the second half put the Dragons up 2-1, and her unassisted clean-up goal as Plymouth goalkeeper Alayna Holmquest left the box to save an earlier Patterson attempt in the 70th minute put Argos over the top for the win.
“Playing from behind when you’re down a goal isn’t the end of the world, but you play a little bit harder maybe, use a little more energy, which makes it tough to kind of do those things that you would normally do,” said Plymouth Head Coach Chuck DeWitt. “But our girls played very hard; I thought they played well. We had some excellent spots that we played very top-notch and then we had times where we were just kind of mediocre — we were just kind of average and we were happy being that way it seemed. But overall, the girls put in a really good effort.”
Plymouth tied the game up 1-all on an unassisted snipe from nearly 30 yards out by midfielder Krista Vanlue. Allie Wright scored on another unassisted shot less than a minute after Flower’s goal to knot the game at 2-all late, and another Vanlue go from way out that would’ve tied the game a third time nearly found net as it ricocheted off the top bar the 75th minute.
“We hit the top-bar three times,” said DeWitt. “A couple inches and it would’ve been in, but it didn’t bounce our way. I’m happy with the effort; we’re just not happy with the result.
“It could’ve gone either way,” Alcorn said. “They had one there at the end off the cross bar. I feel like we’re kind of due some of those. Last year we had a couple of those that kind of went the other way. It’s supposed to balance out.”
It was Argos’ second win of the week and the season after 6-0 home rout of Elkhart Christian at home Tuesday, and it was Plymouth’s opener. Both coaches say having a game already under their belts helped make the difference for the Dragons Thursday.
‘”We were nervous in the beginning. We had jitters,” said DeWitt. “We knew that they had played and we also know how hard they play us and that made us nervous, and we kind of went back on our heels early.”
“I think it’s got to help,” said Alcorn. “But Emily Alcorn on defender and Karlee (VanDerWeele (the goalkeeper), this was their first game, and both of them were very shaky in the beginning. Karlee had a goal in her hands; it was a good shot, but one you expect her to catch. By the time they hit the second half, they started to gel.”
Along with Patterson’s heroics, Argos midfielder Stefany Parrish also put in a gutsy effort marking up on Vanlue in the midfield.
“I think the star of the game had to be Stefany Parrish,” said Alcorn. “Patterson had to do what she did, but Parrish just ran the midfield like crazy. She was getting a migraine and running off the bench to the field and at the end she was kind of blinking so I knew she couldn’t see very well. I’m sure she could not see, but she just gutted it out.”
Plymouth will host Logansport at 11 a.m. Saturday, while Argos will take a break before resuming play at Trinity next Thursday.
• ARGOS 3, PLYMOUTH 2
A — Jami Patterson (unassisted), 6th minute
P — Krista Vanlue (unassisted), 35th minute
A — Allison Flower (Patterson), 45th minute
P — Allie Wright (unassisted), 46th minute
A — Patterson (unassisted), 70th minute
Shots: Argos 9, Plymouth 6
Corner kicks: Argos 2, Plymouth 6
Saves: Karlee VanDerWeele (Argos) 4, Alayna Holmquest (Plymouth) 5
Records: Argos 2-0, Plymouth 0-1.