GREENVILLE — It felt more like late November as opposed to mid-April.
With the temperatures dropping quickly and wind gusts of 30 plus mph the Holland Dutch scored three unanswered goals to shut out the Greenville Yellow Jackets girls soccer team on Monday night.
In the first half, Holland — with the wind at its back — controlled possession a good portion of the first 40 minutes.
“That’s what our game is supposed to be is possession,” Holland coach Kirk Emerson said. “It was our first game on grass this year so it was a little difficult. The wind didn’t help, but we have 11 freshman and sophomores out here. Once they start learning to knock the ball down a little bit we’ll be alright.”
Greenville’s Sam O’Herron had a good scoring chance in the first half with just over 14 minutes remaining. Her shot — aided by the wind — curved just left of the goal.
The game remained scoreless until just under two minutes remaining in the half.
Holland’s Holly VanderKooi found the back of the with 1:52 on the clock to make the score 1-0 at halftime.
“It was a pretty ugly game for us. I felt like we had difficulty connecting passes,” Greenville coach Nathan Lewis said. “At times our effort wasn’t there. That showed up in the fact we didn’t win a lot of 50/50 balls. When we didn’t win them, we gave them lots of space to turn and make decisions and they made us pay for it.”
The two teams continued to battle in the conditions without scoring for the first 23 minutes of the second half.
Holland’s Kelsey Morford scored to give the Dutch a 2-0 lead.
“Considering the weather and the Monday night, it was ugly for a while,” Emerson said. “I thought we adjusted well.”
The Yellow Jackets continued in the second half without putting pressure on Holland. Lewis said his team needed to go outside with the ball.
“We didn’t put a lot of pressure on them. When we played too direct or tried to go up the middle of the field we were not nearly as successful,” Lewis said. “If we were able to connect some passes and spread them out we would have had some success and shots on goal.”
Rachel Starr capped the Dutch scoring with just 2:06 remaining in the game to make the score 3-0. Her shot took a bad bounce and deflected of the Greenville keeper Britta Bernth.
The Yellow Jackets put together a couple of scoring chances late, but came up empty.
“It’s almost like it took them until then to wake up. Sometimes we start slow and we are trying to remedy that,” Lewis said. “We definitely didn’t bring as much energy as they did for the majority of game.”
Holland improved to 1-3-1 on the season and they will host Kenowa Hills on Wednesday.
The Yellow Jackets dropped to 2-2 overall. They will host East Grand Rapids in O-K White play on Wednesday.