Maddy Welker wasn’t settling for a draw, and she even bought some security — all in the span of a minute.
The Carroll junior turned a more than hour-long standstill with the Northrop girls soccer team into a two-score shutout Sept. 17, putting the ball in the back of the net twice in the final 16:36 of the matchup and handing the Bruins just their second loss of the season.
“I think there was a big change in our play from the first half to the second half,” Welker said. “We talked about a lot of things at halftime about being hungry, and I think we saw that. A lot of our midfielders were really picking up in the second half, and I think that’s how we got those goals.”
It took the Chargers nine minutes to get their first shot of the game — a rocket from senior Kelsi Hoot that was bottled up by the Bruins’ Kayden Tassler. In six more tries, Carroll still couldn’t notch that first goal.
“Northrop plays a really deep line, and they kind of drop back, so we knew that we had to come at them with an urgency to finish, and we talked a lot about getting the ball out wide and connecting with the wide players in order to get the ball in,” Welker said of the halftime game script.
It wasn’t until the second half, with 19 minutes left to play, that the Chargers looked to have a lead. A high shot by midfielder Karissa Llamas was just outside Tassler’s reach, but it ended up careening off the underside of the crossbar downward, and the Bruin defenders were able to clear it.
Keeping the ball on Northrop’s side of the field, the Chargers caught a lucky break when one of Northrop’s defenders was called for a handball inside the box with 16:36 left in the game. Welker was able to convert on the resulting penalty kick attempt, but the official called for re-kick after one of Carroll’s players stepped into the box. That was no problem for Welker, who booted another one in the same spot to give Carroll the edge.
“I planned to do the same exact thing,” she said. “I already did it once, so I just had to focus and do it again.”
Just a minute later, Welker scored her second goal, evading Tassler’s challenge and tapping the ball toward the goal, leaving Northrop’s defenders chasing it down to no avail.
“I think we had a lot of energy coming off that first goal,” Welker said. “And, Lia (Armstrong) in the midfield, she pressed super hard, she got that ball, it was a loose ball, and we found it again.”
The Chargers, who dropped out of the Class 3A state rankings from No. 16 on Sept. 14, improved to 7-4 overall after the victory over Northrop. All four of those losses came against ranked opponents — two in Class 3A and two in Class 2A.