RICHMOND - Team speed paid off for the Edison girls soccer team Monday against Madonna.
The Wildcats scored two goals in the final seven minutes to rally past the Blue Dons, 3-2, at Edison.
Allie Byrley recorded the equalizer with 6:56 showing on the clock, and Bethany Bube netted the game winner with 2:42 left to play. It was Bube's second goal of the game.
Byrley and Ashley Borsch both recorded assists in the victory.
"We gave up a goal in the first 10 seconds of the second half," veteran Edison (6-2) head coach Jeremy Angelo said. "Fortunately for us, we finished better than we started.
"We missed some opportunities early in the game. Had we been able to convert those we may have been able to put them away. Not being able to convert on our chances made it tough.
"Both teams pushed. Both teams' defenses made it hard on the other team to score. Neither team was really able to get enough shots. Our defense played well.
"We were persistent. We kept being persistent. Having speed helps. You can't teach speed. Coach (Jamie) Evans lives by it in the spring during track. He's happy about it. I'm happy about it, too."
Borsch, Bube and Kylie Long have all competed at the Ohio State Track Meet in June. The three girls teamed up with their former teammate on the soccer team - Nhung Tran - to qualify for the state meet in Columbus in the 4x100 relay back in 2012.
Borsch has also competed individually at the state meet in the 300 hurdles.
Both of the Wildcats' goals in the second half came as a result of passes being sent through the Blue Dons defense to players who ran past and through the defenders on their way to scoring the goals.
"It's hard to believe that 80 minutes of soccer came down to three mistakes," Madonna (7-4) head coach Bob Kolanko said. "I thought we were the better team. We controlled the ball for the majority of the game. Our offside trap worked well. They had to be called offside 25 or 30 times."
Rachel Grubbs recorded a goal and an assist for Madonna.
"If you play her 1-on-1 she is going to get by you," Angelo said about Grubbs. "She is going to draw you to her. She can get off a shot, or she can cross it. Either way, she is very productive. She's tough. We wanted to keep her in front of us. She did a good job today. She scored a goal and had an assist. A goal and an assist is probably a bad day for her.
"Their goalie made some nice saves. Their sweeper Hannah Barger shut us down. We want to play the ball up top, and then we want to get it wide.
"It was a good game."
Alayna Macaluso also netted a goal for the Blue Dons.
Leanne Grubbs delivered an assist.
"Jeremy always has his girls ready," Kolanko said. "We had four girls back, and they attacked with seven or eight players. They had a numbers advantage. They came at us hard. Our defense held them, but we didn't get back for the two goals they scored.
"We scored a goal in the first 10 seconds of the second half, but other than that they held us to nothing. I give props to them."
Tessie Tokash made six saves in goal for the Blue Dons.
"I have worked with their goalie Tessie," Angelo said. "I have helped her with punts and goal kicks. I think this is her first year of being a starter."
Katie Oinonen ended up with five saves for Edison.
"The wind was a factor. The condition of the field was a factor, but we both had to play in it and on it," Kolanko said.
There is a friendly rivalry between the Wildcats and the Blue Dons.
"Bob and I coach in the same travel league," Angelo said. "He is my boss in the spring.
"It was a well-played game. I know some of their kids. It's the same thing with the Weir game. I have family from Weir and Madonna. It is a fun rivalry. The girls come to play, and we have to come ready to play. There may be some fighting or arguing with the parents in the stands or stuff like that, but the girls on the field never get involved in stuff like that."
Both teams missed out on opportunities to score throughout the match. The Wildcats had a difficult time dealing with the Blue Dons' offside trap.
"We worked on that," Angelo said. "We prepared for it. We played St. Clairsville in our first game, but they got a new coach. They didn't use the trap.
"We talked about the trap. We worked on it. We knew it was coming. We told them. Sometimes they listen. Sometimes they don't. They are high school girls. You tell them things, and you hope they are paying attention.
"Sometimes they surprise you."
Both teams are scheduled to return to the pitch Wednesday at home. Madonna is scheduled to play at 5 p.m. against rival Wheeling Central. Edison plays at 5:30 p.m. against local-rival Weir.
"We play Wheeling Central Wednesday. We need to win that game," Kolanko said. "Our girls are going to come back ready to play."
Both teams are battling for a spot in the annual OVAC Cup Tournament.
"If it happens, great. If it doesn't, it's not the end of the world," Angelo said. "It's more difficult now because they add those 3A schools from West Virginia. It's harder now. You have to play teams three times the size of you with two or three times the amount of talent you have.
"If we make it, we are going to go and compete.
"We have some goals. We want to build and get ready for the state tournament. We want to see how far we can go. We want to make another run.
"If we don't make the OVAC Tournament, then we will have to pick up another game."
Thursday is the cutoff day for the conference tournament.