MADISON TOWNSHIP — The season isn’t even a week old and Madison already has encountered more bumps in the road than it did during all of last year’s historic run to the Division II state championship.
Nevaeh Lewis and Shannon Jamieson each scored a goal as the short-handed Rams rallied for a 2-1 win over Clear Fork at STARTEK Stadium on Wednesday night.
Madison (1-1) picked up its first victory despite the absence of eight players suspended for violating team rules. Coach Zac Huff also missed the game for undisclosed reasons.
“I think Olivia (Neal) said it best just right now. She said, ‘Maybe bad things came to us for a good ending to happen,’ ” acting coach Jordan Monica said. “I think today really showed how much we need each other.
“It’s better now early in the season than at the end.”
Clear Fork struck in the 11th minute when Lilly Wortman corralled a crossing pass from Annika Labaki and smashed a shot past Madison goal keeper Jaden Pifher for a 1-0 lead.
The Rams evened the score when Lewis got loose behind the Clear Fork defense and scored with 15 minutes remaining in the opening half. The goal was the 20th of the speedy sophomore's brief career and first since she scored the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Granville in last year’s state final.
Madison took the lead when Jamieson sent a ball toward goal with 29:47 remaining in the second half. The shot pin-balled off a Clear Fork player and eventually trickled across the line for a 2-1 Madison lead.
The Colts (1-1) had several opportunities to pull even but were unable to get a shot past Madison goal keeper Morgan Rachel, who didn’t play in the first half after bruising her ribs in Madison’s season-opening 4-0 loss to Kettering Alter -- but returned for the second half Wednesday.
“Madison came out and played well,” Clear Fork coach Brittany Bechtel said. “We battled up top to find the back of the net, but it just didn’t happen today.”
The Colts opened the season with a 5-2 win over Wooster earlier in the week. Sophomore forward Kendall Windsor had a hat trick against the Generals.
“That definitely wasn’t our best effort and they know that,” Bechtel said. “I have no doubt they’ll come back from that and be burning to play the next one.”