It was a momentum swing.
Davenport North had created chances in the second half Tuesday night and held strong defensively against Bettendorf.
One unlucky bounce later, the Bulldogs regained control.
Mia Griffin buried a mishandled ball by Wildcats keeper Aerianna Trowers for her second goal of the night to catapult Bettendorf to a 3-0 Mississippi Athletic Conference victory over North at TouVelle Stadium.
“There are games where you don’t always have the momentum on your side,” said Griffin, who now leads the Bulldogs with four goals. “Every time I had the ball over the top or a simple pass, I just tried to push myself a little bit more.”
After giving up three goals to Assumption, the Class 3A seventh-ranked Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1 MAC) allowed one regulation goal to Pleasant Valley and followed that up by recording their first shutout of the season.
“Late in the game, I was like ‘No matter what we do, let’s get the shutout,’” Bettendorf head coach Todd Hornaday said. “We shifted our formation around a little bit and it worked for us very well for us Friday and I saw some very good stuff out of it today.”
Playing without senior Elizabeth Park due to a one-game suspension for getting two yellow cards against the Spartans, it forced some underclassmen to play more minutes.
Griffin stated it took about five minutes to get everyone on the same page. In the 19th minute, the junior forward found the back of the net.
Off a feed from Avery Horner, Griffin raced down the left side of the pitch past the North defense and fired her shot in the bottom right corner to put the Bulldogs up 1-0.
“A couple openings came up on the outside defender and their center,” Griffin said. “I was lucky enough to get a flick on ball and pushed through.”
Hornaday called them “grit and determination” goals.
“Sometimes, that’s what you got to do,” he added. “Be scrappy and put yourself in position where you can capitalize on a second ball and find yourself in a position to get a wide open look.”
Sophomore Sophia Utsinger added the final goal in the 63rd minute, her third of the season.
Hornaday gets the same feeling every year after the PV game, that the next one has the makings of a trap game.
He was pleased they avoided it by outshooting the Wildcats 21-4 before getting ready to face second-ranked Ankeny Centennial on Thursday.
“Mentally, more so than physically, got to refocus,” Hornaday said. “We knew North was going to park the bus and try to limit our opportunities. I was happy with how we moved the ball.”
North (0-6, 0-3) remains without a goal since scoring in the 12th minute in its season-opening loss to Assumption.
Wildcats head coach Tyler Holle still sees improvement.
“We’re still trying to find our identity offensively,” he said. “When we went from our 4-5-1 look to a more 3-5-2 look, we had some more chances.”
Trowers stopped 13 shots in net.