PANAMA CITY BEACH — Some soccer teams seem reticent to put the ball on goal when a scoring opportunity is presented.
Mosley’s mindset is precisely the opposite.
The Dolphins looked to score every time they advanced the ball into Rutherford’s half of the field, and Mosley finished with a 6-0 victory over the Rams in the District 2-3A semifinals at the Mike Gavlak Sports Complex on Tuesday night.
“I do think we’re playing our best soccer (of the season), but I feel we can play better,” said junior Rachel Bates, who scored Mosley’s first two goals against the Rams. “We’re possessing the ball, and we’re not just playing kick ball.”
Mosley (10-1-2) will return to the same facility Friday night to play Arnold in the district title game at 7 p.m. The winner will host a Region 1-3A quarterfinal game next Thursday. The loser will play its quarterfinal matchup on the road.
“It’s very important because they played us hard all year long,” Bates said. “They’re a big rival of ours, and they have a lot of people we know.”
Bates scored her goals in the first 19 minutes against the Rams to spot Mosley a quick lead and spark the rout. She tallied her first goal in the eighth minute, and she was the first player to reach a loose ball at the edge of the 18-yard box and rocketed a shot into the back of the net for a two-goal margin.
“It was nice to get the game going,” said Bates, a junior. “It set the tempo for the rest of the game.”
Each time Rutherford (6-11-1) failed to clear the ball out of danger in front of the Rams’ goal, Mosley players were there to capitalize on the mistake.
Mosley sophomore Serena Nakamura redirected teammate Jordan Lewis’ cross pass for the Dolphins’ third goal in the 32nd minute, and Elizabeth Vickers added another goal four minutes later to send the Dolphins into the locker room at halftime with an insurmountable four-goal lead.
The Dolphins continued to apply pressure offensively in the second half. Taylor Hallmon scored in the 46th minute, and Jordan Gurganus’ header off a corner kick provided Mosley’s sixth goal in the 67th minute.
“We do try to score a lot obviously, and we work on that a lot in practice,” Bates said.
Friday’s game against Arnold will represent the teams’ third meeting this year. Mosley won the first two matchups by a combined score of 4-1.
“We have to play simple,” Bates said, “and we have to keep our cool.”