With the game deadlocked at 2-2 with seven minutes to play, the Ruckel Rams pounded in three goals to hand the Destin Lady Marlins their first loss, 5-2, of the season in middle school soccer action.
“I think the girls actually played really well,” said Destin Coach Demetris Stevens as he walked off the frigid field at Destin.
“There was some times where them having more experienced players really showed,” he said. “We’re still a young team … although we’re a talented team; it was a learning experience tonight.”
Destin actually got on the board first with a goal from Ally Dowdy just 10 minutes into the game.
Ruckel answered about a minute later with Mia Garza following up on a free kick.
With about five minutes left in the first half, Ruckel scored again. The Destin goalie, Isa Holbrook, saved the first shot but then Ruckel’s Therese Sherwin followed up and booted it in the net for a 2-1 lead at the half.
In the second 30 minutes of play, Destin again struck first. Jareny Enriquez knocked one in right in front of the goal for a 2-2 game.
The game stayed deadlocked until the 7:20 mark. Ruckel’s Audrey Moore scored on a breakaway kicking it into the left corner of the goal for a 3-2 Ruckel lead.
About three minutes later, Ruckel put another one in the back of the net. Garza scored her second goal of the night for a 4-2 advantage.
With a little more than a minute to go, Ruckel’s Marie Reid kicked in the last goal on a follow up from a corner kick for the win.
“We panicked a little at the end, but I think we’ll be a better team because of it,” Stevens said. “We’ve got to learn … you’ve got to have these games like this to have that sting of losing. So they can understand that hard work has got to be done.”
Up next for the Lady Marlins is a 5 p.m. game Monday at Meigs Middle School in Shalimar.