The Bryan girls soccer team beat Delta 2-1 at Recreation Park in Bryan on Thursday, and in the process, the Bears earned their first victory since a 6-2 road win against Wauseon on Aug. 23.
“We were talking about how nice it is to get back in the win column,” Bryan coach Carrie Wilhelm said. “It obviously wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but a win is a win, it’s a league win and we’re ready to continue in that direction.”
Thursday’s game was also the second since Wilhelm took over as coach of the Golden Bears (2-4-1, 2-1 Northwest Ohio Athletic League). Matthew Zirkes led the Bears for the first five games this season, but was relieved of his duties late last week after the Bears got off to a rocky start.
Wilhelm, who has served as an assistant for the past few years, said the mid-season change isn’t ideal, but with a tie on Saturday against Springfield and a win against Delta on Thursday, her team might be turning the corner.
“It definitely helps having built relationships with them already,” Wilhelm said. “I feel that although a mid-season coaching change is very difficult to deal with, especially for high school athletes, I feel like they have adapted to that. They know what I expect of them and we’re going to move forward together.”
Bryan and Delta played through nearly 30 minutes of soccer scoreless on Thursday, until Bryan senior Kayla Arnold lobbed a pass behind Delta’s defense, where Bryan sophomore Shallyn Miley received the ball in stride and punched it in the back of the net to put the Bears up 1-0 with 13:51 left in the first half.
The Bears added another goal at the 2:13 mark when Arnold crossed a pass to Baylee Krupp, who scored to put Bryan up 2-0 and give Arnold her second assist of the day.
“My role on the team is to get assists and to pass and to get it forward and not always to score,” Arnold said. “So I’m really glad I could deliver on my role and be what I need to be for the team. They were great finishes by Shallyn and Baylee, so I’m really thankful for them.”
Delta (1-5-1, 0-3 NWOAL) responded in the opening minute of the second half when Jessie Giguere slipped one by Bryan goaltender Meggie Voigt on a free kick to close the Bears’ lead to 2-1.
Delta had several more scoring opportunities late in the second half, but ultimately couldn’t get one to go.
“We started well, but I didn’t like how we finished the half when we got down 2-0,” Delta coach Paige Triana said. “I had a little talk with our team at the half and we liked how they came out in the second half. ... We were a little disappointed we couldn’t make up the difference, but we were proud of how they were playing.”
Bryan returns to action at 11 a.m. Saturday at Miller City.
Continental 1, Bryan 0
Bryan’s boys soccer team took to the road on Thursday and lost 1-0 to the Continental Pirates. Reese Jackson had one save in goal for the Bears.
Bryan (1-6-1) returns to action when it hosts Napoleon next Thursday.