WASHINGTON TERRACE -- During the first three games of the season, Ogden Outlaw coach Mike Hickman saw something different in his team. On Saturday evening, he got a little proof.
Despite being outplayed in the first half, the Outlaws (1-2-1) did just enough to beat the L.A. Misioneros 2-1 Saturday at Bonneville High School.
Even before the win, Hickman was pleased with his team playing two competitive games on the road and battling defending division champion Fresno to a tie. But, getting a victory under their belt is the biggest step the Outlaws have taken to show they're a better team than the one that finished 2-10-4 last season.
"The composure is there, and the confidence is there," Hickman said. "Kyle Christensen brings that to us in the middle with his calm demeanor. He doesn't get frustrated or nervous -- he just finds the next pass and brings calmness to everybody."
The Misioneros (1-3-3) controlled much of the action in the first half, but two shots thumped off the goal, and they came away scoreless for the half. The Outlaws, however, were able to snatch the lead on a goal from Christensen just before the intermission.
"They should have been up two or three to nothing in the first half. Luckily, they didn't put any in," Hickman said. "Their style of play is to possess the ball a lot, and we understand that. When they start getting on the attack, we've got to close things down, and I thought we did a better job in the second half."
Jordan Roylance's goal in the 47th minute gave Ogden a two-goal lead just out of halftime, allowing the Outlaws to play looser as the second half progressed. The Misioneros responded with a late flurry, including their only goal in the 78th minute, but the Outlaws were able to hang on for the win.
"It's a momentum-builder for us," Hickman said. "We go on the road next week, and we've got to be able to carry that on and get the next victory. Confidence is huge in soccer, and if you get a little confidence going your way, things get a bit easier."
Ogden will hit the road again for Friday's match with the Southern California Seahorses.