The mud-backed goal cut Toledo’s lead in half just before the whistle at halftime, but Vasquez later said the sloppy pitch, still dealing with the aftermath of the snowmelt and Toutle Lake’s soccer game against Wahkiakum on Tuesday, kept the game from start to finish influenced.
“It was one of those games where the mud only slowed down in the first half,” said Vasquez. “We just took part in the second half. I said to the girls, “If you get dirty, you might as well get dirty and go out and play.”
Vasquez said the field between the soccer hash marks was the most torn where most of the action was on Tuesday. Rather than drastically altering his possessive strategy, he urged his players to stop trying to find gaps in the middle of the field and instead work down the wings and send crosses towards the goal.
The change quickly paid off, with Smith leading the charges. It started in the 46th minute when she found Rose Dillon, who brought the ball home to make it 3-1. Five minutes later, Toledo won a corner, Smith brandished a ball that went straight to the head of a flying Keylin Plancarte, and the senior midfielder pounded it into the top corner.
“I can tell you that in the six years I’ve been here in Toledo, we’ve never scored a header from a corner,” said Vasquez.