Bettendorf's attack has largely been spearheaded over the last three seasons by the combination of Paige Wagner and Alina Steffen.

This year, Alli Whitaker is getting into the mix.

The Bulldog sophomore scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over United Township Monday at the Panther Pitch, and now has three goals on the year after scoring just twice last season.

"We definitely work well as a team and coming off from last season as a freshman, getting back into it, working together as a team, it's good," Whitaker said. "I think pressure is a key point of it ... I think we have a ton of really good strikers and if we get the ball there, it can get in the back of the net."

Whitaker scored in the 14th minute of the match, taking advantage of one of the few quality looks the Bulldogs had in the first half. As the match went on, the Bulldogs found their footing, and had numerous chances in the second half, but either couldn't quite connect, or couldn't get the ball past UT keeper Hanna Mirimanian, who made six saves in net.

It was the first time all season the Bulldogs had played with a full roster, but the chemistry should start to form as the season goes on.

"We were struggling with the flow, I thought the second half, we started to play the way we were capable of," Bettendorf coach Todd Hornaday said. "Some people trying new positions but definitely an improvement from first half to second half."

Where the Bulldogs (6-0) were at their strongest all night was in the defensive third. Though United Township (5-6) put pressure on the outside, the Panthers struggled to get the ball into the middle of the field to create quality chances.

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"We've had a couple of different players back there but we're just trying to talk a lot and be really organized, being really aggressive back there," senior fullback Katie Byrne said. "We knew it was going to be a really physical game coming in and we wanted to match that physicality. Even though it's not in our conference it's an opportunity to get better and we want to take advantage of those opportunities."

Like Bettendorf, United Township is using the non-conference, out-of-state matchup as an opportunity to improve. A one-goal deficit to Iowa's Class 3A No. 5 team is a good boost moving forward.

"I think its confidence more than anything else," UT coach Phil Weaver said. "Overall, it was a pleasing game, we played a lot better, we moved the ball well, we opened up for each other ... we knew from last year how strong and competitive Bettendorf is ... it's good preparation for us."

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