The Destin Marlins pulled off a 3-2 victory in a battle on the road Tuesday in Shalimar against the Meigs Wildcats in middle school girls soccer.
“We played very well in spurts, but there was a time where I had to take my starters out and let them understand that they are not going to win a game just by showing up,” said Destin Coach Demetris Stevens.
The last time the two teams met, Destin won 8-0.
However, Tuesday the Marlins had their hands full.
Meigs got on the board first. With 11 minutes to go in the first half, Meigs put one high in the middle of the net for a 1-0 score.
Six minutes later, Destin got a chance for a penalty kick and Bella Castaneda came away with a successful boot for a 1-1 game.
With less than a minute to go in the half, Destin’s Ally Dowdy broke away with the ball and then kicked it in the right corner of the goal for a 2-1 lead at the break.
Dowdy struck again about 10 minutes into the second half. Attacking from the left side she kicked the ball across to the right corner of the net for a 3-1 advantage.
About five minutes later, Meigs converted on a penalty kick for a 3-2 showing.
“Even though we’re a good team, we’re very young as a whole,” Stevens said, noting he’s got good leadership in his older girls.
Nevertheless he said there are a lot of younger girls on the team that haven’t lived through the “tribulations” of what it takes to make the playoffs.
“They just understand that we have won the last two years,” he said. “Hopefully, this hard victory gets everybody together, that way they can understand that they can’t just roll the ball out and get a W. It’s difficult to beat a team two times in a season.”
With the win the Marlins move to 5-1 on the season. Up next for Destin is a 5 p.m. game Monday against the Pryor Pirates. The game will be played on the field at Meigs Middle School in Shalimar.