Augusta's girls soccer team already was facing challenges with injuries and backup players having to handle positions they aren't used to.
Add to all that the 20-plus mile-an-hour winds blowing all match long, and it was going to be interesting to see how many chances either Augusta or Mulvane was even going to get to score during Monday's match.
"We have a ton of injuries right now," Augusta coach Casie Davis said. "The girls are playing with people they aren't used to playing with, and they overcame a lot of challenges today. As a team, they came together and rocked it out. They pulled through."
Clarice Dalziel took advantage of one of the Orioles' best opportunities. She dashed past defenders, and Mulvane's goalie didn't make a great play on the ball. Dalziel shot it in for a goal, which proved to be the difference. The Orioles held off the Wildcats' surges in the second half for a 1-0 victory.
"They both came at me, so I went right by them," Dalziel said of the play, motioning with her hands how she was able to swoop around them.
Both teams struggled to keep the ball on the ground, and neither team had much success with passing of any significant length. Even on placekicks, the ball started rolling before the kick could be made.
For a while, the Orioles' offense created several opportunities for breakaway plays. Shelby Clay and Dalziel were able to take short passes and quickly turn it up the field.
"You have to really make sure you play to each other's feet. You can't just do big kicks, because they'll come back to your face. You have to have really good passes."
"They focused on getting a good first touch, trying to with this wind and hard weather conditions," Davis said. "It was hard weather conditions, but you just got to keep pushing, keep pushing."
As the game progressed, though, the shorthanded Orioles started running out of gas. Mulvane had a flurry of chances, and the Wildcats were able to produce shot attempts, though some weren't quality looks. The good ones more often than not sailed wide of or above the net. Mulvane had several corner kicks as well, but defenders like Sophia Dalziel and Bethany Watson were able to kick a lot of the clearouts.
The star for the defense, though, was goalie Brittany Johnson. She made good decisions about when to come out and beat a Mulvane player to a loose ball, and she was mostly strong with her hands and made a couple tough saves. Johnson, who played a little in goal during indoor season, is not normally a goalkeeper, but she took over the position when Megan Grantham broke her collarbone against Mulvane in the teams' previous meeting a few weeks ago.
"She truly has stepped up. She's listened. Everything we've asked her to work on, she's working," Davis said of Johnson.