BOONVILLE - Makayla Dimmette has emerged as a leader on the pitch for a young, inexperienced Lady Elks squad.
In a season with two hat tricks, the sophomore undoubtedly made her biggest impact of the year Friday night in a physical rivalry game with Starmount.
After seeing her team surrender a two-goal lead in the final 10 minutes of the second half, Dimmette came to the rescue.
With the game knotted at 3-3 in the second overtime period, the sophomore received a long outlet pass from Carrie Brown and broke free on a breakaway. Dimmette fired a rocket past the Starmount keeper for the thrilling game-winner.
“It was a great feed by Carrie Brown. They had a clear-out, and I told them to make sure they had a good, positive touch on the ball - positive touch toward their goal, not behind us - and Carrie played a fantastic through ball to her and Makayla finished,” Elkin head coach Heath Foster said. “We had three or four opportunities on breakaways tonight that we didn’t capitalize on, but we did when it ultimately mattered, so I can’t complain.”
Dimmette’s goal, which completed her third hat trick of the season, saved Elkin from a devastating defeat, which it lead 3-1 with just 9:09 to play.
Captain Francisca Garcia played hero for the Rams, finding the back of the net twice in a four-minute span to bring Starmount even at 3-3, sending the game to overtime.
Following Garcia’s heroics, Foster huddled his team and simply told them it was “gut-check time.”
“I told them that it was a gut-check in overtime,” he said, hoarse from screaming. “I played 11 girls the whole night and I told them ‘I know you’re tired and beat, but this is a gut-check; you have to figure out how bad you want it.’
“This was a big game for us in the 1A standings, and we produced.”
Elkin jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first half, getting two goals by Dimmette and one by Deyonna Gonzales, to grab a comfortable advantage. But the Rams struck for a goal with 38 seconds left in the opening half, grabbing momentum heading into the break.
“We let them score 38 seconds before halftime, and that’s the worst thing you can do, especially only up three goals. We had 15 to 17 shots in the first half, but we just had trouble putting it where we needed to put it,” Foster said. “I don’t think the game should have been as close as it did, but Starmount came out rolling in the second half and we came out flat.
“I’m happy to win - it’s not how I wanted to win, but I’ll take it,” he added.
Elkin improved to 6-5 in Mountain Valley Conference action with the win to keep pace in the race for the 1A title. West Wilkes (6-4) holds the top spot.
Starmount fell to 3-6 with the loss.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.