EL RENO, Okla.- With one of their own celebrating a birthday, the Beavers and birthday girl Hannah Grant felt a win would be proper icing on the cake.
The Beavers used two penalty kicks to distance themselves over Redlands Community College (Okla.) on their way to a 2-0 road win. Opening the season with consecutive losses, Coach Burnett wanted to see her girls play with more intensity in Pratt's third match, and she noted the difference following today's result.
"A lot of hard work, really," Burnett said. "We came out from the beginning wanting it more and that was huge."
Coming up short in the first two games was not something Burnett wanted clouding her team so early in the season. She relayed an upbeat message heading into today's match, and it would appear her words were well-received.
"The biggest thing the past two days we'd been thinking about was positivity," Burnett said. "Believing, and being positive throughout the whole field. We came in with effort from the beginning and that was something that we lacked the first two games. That passion and the hard work really set the tone."
A win on her birthday wouldn't come without some battle scars for Grant. The recipient of two fouls in the six-yard box, Grant saw teammate Madison Phillips send home the first of two penalty kicks. A few minutes later, Grant was fouled again, but this shot was going to be hers. And she gave herself one heck of a birthday present.
"I don't know if it was the birthday spirit in her, but she wanted to take it," Burnett said. "She did a great job of finishing."
For many of Burnett's players, today's result was the first win of their college careers. Coach sensed a wave of gratification and relief trickle down the bench as well as the pitch.
"They were really excited because they know the potential of this team," Burnett said. "It was good for the freshman to see a good win and for the sophomores know what we're capable of. The freshman now have that confidence heading into the next few games."
The Beavers next match will take place Saturday, August 31 against Metropolitan Community College (Mo.) at 3 pm CT.