DECATUR — The St. Teresa girls soccer team was playing its third game in three days on Wednesday, and the Bulldogs players were literally running in mud.
They were clinging to a 1-0 at half against Monticello. But a different strategy and a boost from the bench made all the difference in the second half. St. Teresa scored four goals on its way to a 5-0 win at the season-opening St. Teresa Tournament.
"It was the worst," St. Teresa coach Connor Smith said of the conditions. "It was so muddy, it was almost unplayable.
"But we had to manage to get through just like the other team. Our shoes were getting stuck in the mud and taking away the speed we have on a nice field. But we started playing to feet and moving off the ball a lot better."
The result was three goals by Cam Wagner and two by Grace Buxton. Mackenzie Claypool, Rylie Danner and Jeana-Marie Wilson had assists for St. Teresa (2-1).
"Three games in three days is a lot, especially with not being able to have a lot of practices because of the weather," Smith said. "But we were able to use some of our depth players and they delivered — Jeana-Marie is one of those players. It's nice to know we can use those players in crucial minutes."
St. Teresa will play LSA on Friday in the consolation semifinals. Monticello fell to 0-2.