The Mustangs, after playing through some pretty tough times in the regular season, appear to have turned things around at just the right time with their third consecutive win Thursday evening.
“Three in a row. You can’t start any better than 28 seconds in to score the first goal. We were very creative. We had a lot of energy and intensity,” said a pleased Bayliss after the Senior Day win. “Maybe we should have scheduled these last three at the beginning. But you can’t ask for any more going into the district (tournament). This gives us some confidence.”
The one element missing from the victory was a final goal for Blayne Carroll, who scored twice in the first half and missed the hat trick by inches on a couple other scoring attempts.
Carroll’s first goal came 28 seconds into the match on a cross from the right side and set the tone for the Mustangs, although Sweetwater came back to tie the game some seven minutes later.
Brayton Bird would not let the 1-1 tie hold up until halftime. Bird put the Mustangs on top 2-1 with a rocket to the back of the nylons in the 32nd minute.
Carroll added more fuel to the fire with his second goal of the day and just missed his third on another cross from the opposite side.
“Blayne was sitting on the hat trick for a long time. He missed by about a foot five different times, two in the first half and three on the other end. But he was close,” said Bayliss.
After halftime ceremonies honoring seniors Bird, John Hayes, Logan Helton, Brad Hoffner and Jake Vincent, the Mustangs got back to business.
Vince Rollins made it a 4-1 game with a free kick in the 43rd minute that snaked past the Sweetwater keeper on the right side.
The Wildcats scored once more before the final whistle to make it a 4-2 final.
“We played things with intention and not just to knock the ball around for no reason. Brayton Bird’s goal was the definition of composure. He could have blasted it into the softball field the way it was bouncing on him. But he put a nice little touch on it,” said Bayliss.