STEUBENVILLE - One pass. One shot. One goal.
The Big Red girls' soccer team controlled the ball for most of its game against Edison, but the Red-and-Black did not have anything to show for it more than 84 minutes before breaking through for the game's lone goal for a 1-0 win on a hot Saturday afternoon at Harding Stadium.
With less than six minutes left to play, senior Sierra Porter sent a pass through the Wildcat defense to sophomore Emma Cotter who broke toward the goal for a 1-on-1 opportunity with junior goalie Katie Oinonen. Cotter was able to fire her shot past Oinonen and into the back of the net with 5:22 left to play in the game.
Steubenville’s Sierra Porter battles Edison’s Melissa Tran during the second half of Saturday’s contest at Harding Stadium. Big Red scored with 5:22 left in the game for a 1-0 victory.
-- Mike Mathison
"It was a beautiful thing," Big Red (3-2) head coach Jared Robinson said. "It is something we have been working on for years with our forwards. We want to make runs and to get the ball. We want them to see the field. We want to pass the ball.
"Sierra got the ball. She delivered a perfect through ball. Emma made the run she was supposed to. She showed a lot of composure, and she knocked it into the back of the net.
"It was a beautiful thing."
The ball was on Edison's defensive side for the majority of the game.
"They possessed the ball. They played hard. We didn't," Edison (2-1) head coach Jeremy Angelo said. "Give Big Red credit. They played well."
Big Red outshot Edison, 18-5, and recorded 12 shots on goal, while the Wildcats took two.
"Our defense played pretty well," Angelo said. "They had the one long ball that led to their goal."
Edison took 21 goal kicks, while Big Red took five. Big Red took 11 corner kicks, while Edison took two.
"That is what happens when you play kickball," Angelo said. "You just can't kick the ball. You have to kick it to somebody. We thought just kicking the ball was good enough. With our youth and inexperience, we have to possess the ball. This is not youth ball. You can't just kick it and someone will run and get it.
"We didn't play today."
After Cotter's goal, Big Red continued to push forward in attempt to add to its lead, but the hosts were unable to do so despite a couple more good chances.
"That's what counts," Robinson said. "We told the girls at halftime to keep shooting and that one would fall. They believed. They kept fighting. There was less than six minutes left when we got one in. That shows the amount of heart that we have."
Oinonen made 10 saves for the Wildcats.
"They did nothing we hadn't seen before," Angelo said. "We just did not play very well. We played well in pockets.
"If you don't do the simple things, you aren't going to win very many games. We didn't do those things today. We didn't trap the ball. We didn't possess the ball. We didn't dribble. We were out of it today."
Sophomore goalie Gillian Haught tallied two saves for Big Red.
"We controlled the ball well, and we moved the ball well," Robinson said. "Our girls represented the program to the maximum. They gave a great effort. They continued to fight and fight. It feels good to get a win against a program of that caliber."
Edison had some chances to score but the visitors just couldn't capitalize on their opportunities.
"I told the girls at halftime that it would be a one- or two-goal game," Angelo said. "We had a few opportunities, but nearly as many as they did."
Edison had a good chance to score in the first half, but Haught made a diving save on a shot and the ball hit off of the post before going over the line resulting in a corner kick.
The corner kick resulted in another chance, but a Wildcat header sailed over the crossbar.
"It was an exciting game," Robinson said. "We knew the game would be exactly like that. It always is with Edison. Jeremy does an excellent job. There is a lot of respect there, and it shows on the field."
Due to the heat, both teams made substitutions throughout the day.
"Where was this during summer conditioning? We could have used this during conditioning to get the girls used to it," Robinson said. "It is like there was no summer, and then it shows up full force on game day.
"Our girls did an excellent job of taking breaks. We did a good job of subbing. We got the girls off the field to get some water and to take a break.
"We were able to get some fresh legs into the game. It worked out well for us."
Both teams are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Tuesday on the road - Edison at Oak Glen and Big Red at Tyler Consolidated.
"We had a game plan, and we executed it," Robinson said. "All 22 girls contributed. The girls on the bench kept the girls on the field up spiritually and emotionally. They supported their teammates. They did what they had to do. It was a team effort.
"We are proud of the girls. They came through. It is a long season. We are very proud of them."
Big Red will play at 7 p.m. Thursday at home against Oak Glen.
"Big Red came ready to play," Angelo said. "They got the win. They earned it, and they deserved it."