When stuck in a close match, the Greenwood girls soccer team can usually take comfort in the fact that it has Kayla Rance and the other side doesn’t.
The high-scoring senior was the deciding factor in Wednesday’s Mid-State Conference match at Franklin, tallying four goals in the second half to help lift the Woodmen to a 5-2 victory.
“She knows when it’s time to turn it up,” Greenwood coach Joe Mushrush said, “and she did that tonight, which is always great to have.”
It was the third victory in a row for Greenwood (8-5, 3-2).
The Grizzly Cubs (3-8, 1-4) struck first when Maya Elliott outran the Greenwood defense and punched a shot past Maddy Moan just five and a half minutes in.
Little by little, the Woodmen began to create more pressure at their offensive end — and it paid off with 17:40 left in the half when Veda Craig capped off a frantic scramble in front of the net by nudging a ball just out of the reach of Alex Bedard and over the end line.
In the second half, Rance took over. She put the Woodmen in front with a deep shot in the 49th minute, then struck again a little more than a minute later from the left side to make it a two-goal game with 29:54 remaining.
Franklin cut the deficit in half on an Emilie Hill penalty kick with 21:57 left, but the Woodmen got the goal back just 14 seconds later when Rance carried toward the end line and her shot caromed off the foot of a Grizzly Cub defender for an own goal.
She tacked on an insurance goal with 5:01 on the clock, her 26th of the season.
“Anytime the other team scores, I think getting a goal back right away is really important for the momentum of the game,” Rance said. “And even after we score, to get another goal to just put it away.”
Franklin coach David Young felt like his team could have done a better job of limiting Rance’s opportunities, but was still compelled to give the Woodmen star her due.
“She’s really good,” Young said. “At the end of the day, you allow four goals by one player in the second half, you’re not going to win.”