Roxboro Community School’s soccer team cruised past Person in the first meeting of the season and seemed headed towards a similar result, leading 3-0 at halftime of Thursday’s matchup.
That was before Person sophomore forward Marianna Ramirez caught fire in the second half, scoring a hat trick and tying it up to put some pressure on the Bulldogs.
“Our midfielders started playing more through balls to corners and Marianna found a hole in the defense and she exploited it three times back-to-back-to-back,” Person head coach Ryan Jones said.
From there, RCS adjusted and buckled down to hold the Rockets scoreless the rest of the way. After a corner kick, RCS junior forward Sabrina Mangum found the ball and sent it into the back of the net for the game-winning goal to help lift RCS to the 4-3 win.
Mangum scored the winner after starting the second half as the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper. She suffered a hand injury while defending the goal and was substituted back into the field and ended up coming through for her side.
“That was just unbelievable – you can’t even make it up,” RCS head coach Tim Ess said.
The win gave RCS a 2-1 record on the season while Person dropped to 0-3.
The win also gives the Bulldogs possession of the Battle for the ‘Boro rivalry trophy for the rest of the season.
RCS built its 3-0 halftime lead thanks to two goals from senior forward Tori Bailey and another from senior forward Michiaya Jay.
“This was a breakout game for (Tori Bailey),” Ess said. “This is the first time she’s scored this season. We worked a lot on baby touches yesterday and you could see it worked really well with her.”
Jones was pleased with the way his squad responded to their halftime adjustments to fight their way back into it.
“We went down to the corner and had a tough team talk,” Jones said. “Our aggression and physicality wasn’t there in the first half. We were letting them run all over us, quite frankly. I just talked to them about physical play, less dribbling.”
Jones also believes getting on the scoreboard and playing such a close, high-quality match will be beneficial for his team’s confidence and momentum as they move forward.
“We had not scored prior to this game and that was huge,” Jones said. “You felt the whole mood change on the field. The girls started talking and communicating where they’d been silent before.”
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