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The Lady Bulldog soccer team has been improving steadily, game by game, since the season began, and that fact was put on display Tuesday at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex.

After falling behind 1-0 at the half, the Artesia girls battled back for a 2-1 win against a Class 5A Clovis team they fell to, 3-1, just 12 days ago on the road. With that, the Lady ‘Dogs move to 7-2 on the season.

“Our two losses have come to Clovis and Carlsbad, and then we were able to turn around and come back on Clovis on our home field last night,” head coach Tim Trentham said today. “We’ve also beaten Hobbs this year, and I think the girls are finally starting to break that mentality the program used to have of going into these games against bigger schools and just expecting to los.

“The girls understand that they’re a quality team and can play with a lot of opponents. So they’re beginning to see the benefits of not giving the other team that mental edge by going in with a defeated mentality.”

The Wildcats won the possession game through the first half of play Tuesday, but the girls in orange responded in the second half.

“I thought in the first half, we didn’t really play very well defensively,” Trentham said. “I think we were kind of sitting on our heels a little bit too much because of what had happened when we played in Clovis, so they dominated the first half. We didn’t really have any good lucks. We had a couple of corner kicks but nothing really quality.

“Then, in the second half, things evened out more. We were a lot more competitive, and we made some adjustments on defense that helped stop their attacks and slow them down a little more. After that, they were kind of stalling in the middle of the field or right at the top of our defensive third, so we were able to counter a lot.

“We also made some adjustments on our counter and talked to our midfield about having quality passing up top to give us better looks.”

As the Lady Bulldogs began to earn more possession time, their scoring chances increased, and with 12 minutes remaining in the game, Sadi Butler was able to tie things up.

“I think that kind of rocked Clovis a little bit,” Trentham said.

As such, around five minutes later, the Artesia girls took advantage, sending the go-ahead goal into the back of the net off the foot of Abigail Rios.

“After that, Clovis just went into panic mode and were trying to press too much,” said Trentham. “They just weren’t in sync and kind of lost their flow, and we were able to come out with the win.”

The victory was a quality one for the squad, which now prepares to head west over the weekend for a 4 p.m. game against Chaparral Friday and an 11 a.m. bout against Santa Teresa Saturday.

“We’re really super excited about the way our season is going so far,” said Trentham. “We’re 7-2 and will hopefully come back after this weekend 9-2.”