The Mansfield High girls' soccer team lost to Oliver Ames, 2-1, on Monday.
The Tigers certainly came away with a few bumps, bruises and battle wounds - but they also came away with a win.
"It’s always a war when we play," OA coach Britt Sellmayer said. "There’s nothing dirty about it, there’s just a lot of banging going on so we’ll see how sore we are tomorrow."
OA squeaked out the 2-1 win to improve to 2-0 on the year after a Clarissa Romero goal with 4:17 left to play. Romero's goal was assisted by Nicole Taylor and broke a 1-1 tie.
Her goal closed out a hard-fought, evenly matched second half.
"The second half was really even," Sellmayer said." I thought we played hard in the second half but we didn’t play with composure."
With the loss, Mansfield dropped to 0-2.
Coach Kevin Smith wasn't unhappy with his team's performance, though.
"We’re playing good soccer," he said. "We really are. The ball just didn’t go in the back of the net for us but OA’s defense is great and they came through and stopped us but we’re getting there."
The Hornets fell behind early when OA's Christina Francioni found the net off a corner kick just three minutes into play.
Mansfield answered later in the first half when Captain Julia Jones nailed a penalty kick to tie the game at 1-1.
The Tiger defense was too much for Mansfield for the remainder of the game, however.
"OA is fantastic," Smith said. "A throw in play with a minute left, they win. A corner kick at the beginning. They’re just so good at that. They went to the state semi-finals last year and _ in the state. When you have that attitude, that air, you’re going to win."
Sellmayer said this year's new-look Tigers are looking to gain steam and get better as the season moves forward.
We lost a lot of key players from last year, so [moving forward] it’s getting healthy," he said. "....We’re trying to get healthy and get a little bit better every day.