CLYDE — Oak Harbor calls itself a second-half team.
On Monday, the Rockets lived up to it.
Amber Burnette’s two second-half goals broke a 1-all tie as the Rockets topped Clyde 3-1 in a Sandusky Bay Conference match at Robert Bishop Stadium.
“We always seem to get things together after the first half,” Burnette said. “That’s why we always call ourselves a second-half team, because we get together at halftime and work through the things we tell each other we need to work on.”
Burnette scored 5:24 into the second half, when her midfielder Jordan Giesler, took a throw-in and put the ball right where she wanted it. Burnette then beat her defender and made a nice breakaway move on the Fliers’ net, before placing her kick low on the right side on the inside of the net.
“We worked it out,” Burnette said. “I told her ‘let’s fake it one way and I’ll turn my body the opposite way, and (Clyde) won’t see it coming.'”
After getting beat to the ball in the first half, Oak Harbor (10-2-1, 8-1) won time of possession in the second half.
“We didn’t get to the ball first in the first half, that was one of our biggest problems,” Rockets coach Renee Goldstein said. “I yell at that them at halftime about that, then usually they come out in the second half and they’re the first to the ball.”
The game was scoreless until Oak Harbor’s Amanda Hetrick scored on a free kick with 8:43 left until halftime.
Clyde (6-6-1, 3-4) answered quickly as Makaylin Lozier buried a shot from the right side of the net with 5:20 remaining. The Fliers controlled much of the play in the half’s final minutes.
“We have a tendency of starting slow and not really getting our groove on until we get mad a little bit, and then we go out there and play pretty good ball,” Clyde coach Chip Friedburg said. “But tonight, we came out and were on fire from the get go, which is what we needed to do to stay in this game.”
Oak Harbor had topped Clyde 11-1 earlier in the season.
“What a difference,” Friedburg said. “I can’t believe the difference I saw tonight from when we played them up there. These girls played hard.”
Added Burnette: “You can tell they’ve been working really hard together. It was a big change. They were working really well as a team, passing the ball in their triangles and getting the ball up the field. We had a hard time keeping up with them.”
Burnette finished the game’s scoring when her long shot from the right side of the goal box found the net with 17:28 remaining. Paige Velliquette tallied the assist.
Oak Harbor outshot Clyde 17-3 in the second half, including 9-0 in shots on goal.
“It’s hit and miss,” said Goldstein of her team’s improved second-half play. “I don’t know if it’s because they’re really nervous to begin with or what. But it does seem like a lot of our games have been second half games.”
The Rockets won most the battles for the ball in the second half and always seemed a step quicker to the ball.
“I think we get stronger defensively in the second half,” Goldstein said. “If goals are scored on us, they’re usually scored in the first half.”
For the Fliers, Monday’s game was a prime example of how far the program has progressed.
“I’m excited about the rest of the year,” Friedburg said. “We got a chance to actually have a winning year here. To send our seniors out that way would be so awesome.”