BELDING — It took the Belding Redskins less than five minutes to open the scoring on Wednesday against Wyoming.
Little did the Redskins know, but Tina Griffioen’s goal would be the only score of the night in a 1-0 shutout win over the Wyoming Wolves at Rudness Field.
“The girls wanted it. They really wanted it,” Belding coach Tom Griffioen said. “We knew the keeper from Wyoming (Clare Hendrickson) is phenomenal. Our girls had to work a lot of different stuff to get any good shots.”
Griffioen’s goal, on a pass from MacKenzi Krieger, came at the 35:02 mark in the first half.
“I did not think that goal would hold up,” Griffioen said. “I was on pins and needles all game. The last eight minutes were the longest eight minutes of my life.”
Both teams had scoring opportunities in the first half, but both goal keepers did their jobs, Clare Hendrickson for Wyoming and Jordyn Engle for Belding.
“It was basically a very well balanced game,” Wyoming coach Romer Carrasco said. “They (Belding) put in a lot of effort and scored a goal early in the first half. It was hard for us to recover from that.”
The Redskins controlled possession late in the first half. They did the same for most of the second half.
Scoring chances really picked up in the final 15 minutes of the second half for both teams.
Wyoming misfired on a breakaway chance with 14:23 remaining. Engle wasn’t sure if she should step out on the Wyoming forward or stay back. She came out at the right time and altered the shot, which missed left of the goal.
“We had a couple of breakaways, but we were not able to capitalize on those chances,” Carrasco said. “Our keeper had a little work, so did theirs. It was a well balanced game.”
Belding unleashed a flurry of shot attempts late by Krieger and Griffioen in the final minutes. If not for Hendrickson, the Redskins would have had a couple of additional goals.
“We had some nice combinations inside. We worked that really quick to try and get the keeper off her mark,” Griffioen said. “We got shots, but she smothered them.”
Griffioen noted his defense worked hard in the win.
“Our defense, we are working on some stuff, sometimes we kick it away to quick,” Griffioen said. “But with this team (Wyoming) looking for a nice, long through pass, sometimes you have to react that way. It was a chippy game today.”
Belding improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the O-K Blue, while Wyoming dropped to 0-2-2 overall and 0-1-2 in the O-K Blue.
The Redskins will face Coopersville on Monday at home. The Broncos beat Belding 4-1 to open the season.
“It was our first night out,” Griffioen said. “I think we will show them a little different Belding when they come here on Monday.”