Francis Lee played the role of hero for the Fort Dodge girls soccer team on Monday night.
After a scrappy defensive battle for most of the contest, the sophomore Lee slipped home a clutch goal in the 62nd minute, helping lift the Dodgers (2-8 overall) to a precarious 1-0 triumph over CIML Conference crossover foe Southeast Polk at Dodger Stadium.
With the victory, FDSH managed to halt a frustrating eight-game losing streak.
"I was really excited," said Lee, who has now recorded four of the five Dodger scores on the year. "We needed (the win). I thought we played really well as a team."
Both squads failed to capitalize on numerous golden scoring opportunities earlier in the evening, including a near-miss from Fort Dodge sophomore Paige Savery. The Rams (8-4) also had two potential goals deflect off the crossbar.
"It was good to get another "W" as always," FDSH co-head coach Lindsay Boeckman said. "We got caught a couple of times defensively, but I thought we moved the ball really well and had one of our better overall efforts. I've been telling our girls that they can't score goals if they don't take shots."
Keeper Theresa Birzer, a junior, collected eight saves for the Dodgers, who finished with three shots on goal. Fort Dodge had the edge in possession time in the first half, while Southeast Polk controlled the ball for a majority of the final 40 minutes.
"We played really well against (10th-ranked Class 3A and defending 2A state runner-up) Waukee (Thursday) and carried that same intensity level over to (last night)," said Boeckman. "This was definitely big for our confidence. Our first win came at the beginning of the season (a 3-0 shutout of Webster City), so our girls were starting to get a little down on themselves."
Next outing for the Dodgers is Friday when they welcome CIML Iowa Conference rival Marshalltown for a 6 p.m. start time. Regional pairings were also released on Monday. Fort Dodge will face No. 3 (3A) West Des Moines Dowling in their postseason opener May 30 in Urbandale.
Contact Josh Meyer at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at email@example.com