It may have been a wild one, but the Newton girls soccer team got its season started on the right foot with a 4-3 double-overtime victory over Ballard in Huxley Thursday night.
Junior Kristin Samson gave the Cards (1-0) a 1-0 lead going into halftime with an unassisted goal at the 17:24 mark, but Newton’s offense would stall after that until late in the second half.
Meanwhile, Ballard struck with three unanswered goals at the 30:30, 25:15 and 21:10 marks of the second half to grab a commanding 3-1 lead. Newton junior Kaylie Rhoads broke the run with a goal at 15:22 to play, and senior Megan Wright capped the comeback with the game-tying goal with 4:22 left in the contest. Newton coach Sackda Viravong described Rhoads’ goal as the turning point of the game.
After the rest of regulation and the first overtime went scoreless, Wright put in the game winner at the 7:40 mark of the second OT. This was the first time in four years the Cardinals have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the game.
“We could have easily given up this game and called it a night, but our players didn’t give up,” Viravong said. “We knew that we were a better side than Ballard.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Forsyth made 11 saves in all 80 minutes of action and as a team, the Cardinals out-shot Ballard 31-14. Missing a few seniors in the game, Newton started a young defensive lineup consisting of sophomore Nikayla Hoffman and freshmen Madison Dlouhy and Rylie Udelhoven.
Newton will continue its season with a tournament at Southeast Polk on Saturday. The Cards will play the host Rams at 9 a.m. at the high school and Des Moines East at noon at Altoona Soccer Park.