Central battles to 1-1 draw
Warriors, Panthers show plenty of heart in overtime contest
Ties rarely yield satisfaction, but Central and Delta each had reasons to feel good after fighting to a 1-1 draw in their nonleague girls soccer game Friday.
Central lost a 1-0 game to Southwestern League leader Montrose on Tuesday, and Warriors coach Jacob Pingel said it wore his team out.
Similarly, Delta got off the bus at midnight after the long ride back from Summit after a 2-1 loss Thursday.
Two tired teams mustered the energy, however, to battle for 80 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of overtime.
“That’s gutting it out after playing tough against Montrose,” Central coach Jacob Pingel said. “Their weariness showed in the first half, and their heart showed in the second half.”
Delta coach Julie Mottern spoke of her team’s heart, too.
“Coming from Summit yesterday and not having much sleep, I thought we played very well,” she said. “We had some injured players, too, and had some other players step up. Everyone was hustling and giving their last bit of energy for the game.
“I didn’t know what kind of team we’d have today, and they came out and played with heart.”
Delta (4-8-1) took the lead with a goal just before halftime when Joanna Briese dribbled up the middle, maneuvered around a defender and fired a shot to the lower left corner, past diving Warriors goalie Marisa Brown.
Mottern commended Briese for the brilliance of the goal, taking on a different role and playing through an injury Friday. Mottern said her team was beat up after Thursday’s game, and one of the Panthers’ top offensive weapons, Kristen Gardner, sat with a groin pull.
Briese also had a groin pull, but not as severe, so she moved from her normal midfield spot and assumed Gardner’s role up front.
Central (2-9-2) had two goals all season entering the game and had been shut out 10 times, including a 0-0 tie, but it has stacked its defense to remain competitive all season, which its record doesn’t reflect.
Friday, the Warriors increased their offensive pressure in the second half and made several good runs only to see shots sail over the crossbar or get stopped by Delta goalie Katlin Davis. Central’s effort looked like it might go for naught until Lynzee Dwyer launched a shot from straight away, 30 yards out. She tucked it under the crossbar, just out of the reach of a leaping Davis with about four minutes remaining in regulation.
Dwyer credited teammate Makaylee Cloud, who notched the assist, with “setting the ball back” to her like the team has been practicing.
In fact, Pingel added, “In practice yesterday, Lynzee hit the exact same goal.”
In the overtime, Central kept pushing on offense and had several good scoring opportunities, none better than Cloud’s with just a few seconds left. The Warriors’ Cierra Pennal fed Cloud a through ball into the 18-yard box, and Cloud caught up to it, dribbled along the right side and fired a shot from the right corner of the six-yard box, but it sailed over the crossbar.
Pingel smiled as he talked about how close his players came to coming back for a win.
“Our team’s never been much of a comeback team,” he said, citing Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Montrose as an example.
But a team that has lost four 1-0 games this year avoided a fifth and did so against a squad that had beaten the Warriors 3-0 earlier in the season.
“The girls work tirelessly as a team,” Pingel said.
Dwyer echoed the sentiment.
“We work hard to the end, and we work hard for one another,” she said. “We earned the tie. We definitely fought the whole time.”