Lady Cyclones fall in second overtime
Published 3:21 pm Friday, October 16, 2015
BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
JOHNSON CITY – After playing 110 minutes on Tuesday and finishing with penalty kicks on Wednesday, it took a mere 109 minutes to decide the district 1-AA girls soccer match between Elizabethton and University High.
In the last minute before sudden death, sophomore Sarah Robinson received a pass across the penalty in front of the Lady Cyclones goal and fired the game winner with a low left-footed shot giving the Lady Junior Buccaneers the 1-0 victory.
“I was actually pretty nervous,” Robinson said. “I have always shot with both feet, but I am better left. I honestly was scared that I hit it too far right because I didn’t see where the keeper was. Coach Almond told us to keep feeding the ball into the box and eventually we would get one.”
It took time for both teams to adjust to playing on a regulation field, but University High had the better of possession time and shots on goal in the first half. UH (13-2-1) had three shots on goal in the first half with the last one being the most dangerous. Annika Oiler fired one that sent EHS goalkeeper Loran Campbell to make a diving stop to her left to push beyond the back line.
The Lady Cyclones (7-9-2) seemed content to play tenacious defense in the first half and did not manage a shot or a dangerous challenge for UH goalkeeper Samantha Shearin.
The Cyclones missed out on a solid scoring chance early in the second half as Haley Burleson fed Britni Beasley in the penalty area for a header, but the connection didn’t come together as UH was able to clear the ball away.
With a little over 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Campbell made another stellar save – this on Courtney Henley who fired from inside the big box but Campbell was able to move to her left once again and going to the ground, made the save.
“You have to give a lot of credit to EHS in the way they played defense,” said Lady Bucs head coach Dan Almond. “With the number of shots we had tonight, you had the feeling that sooner or later one was going to go in. We were really happy with the way she finished with purpose.”
EHS had a chance in the later stages, but Caitlyn Gardner was turned away by the Lady Bucs’ defensive back line and minutes later, the stage was set for overtime. Lady Bucs forward Lexi Crouthers had the only shot on goal in the first 10-minute overtime period but was easily handled by Campbell on the ground.
The second half saw EHS pick up the attack a little better and as they were able to get wider and put some pressure on the UH defense. But the Cyclones’ best chance came on a free kick with 15-minutes left in regulation.
Linda Espino lined up the kick just outside the penalty area and to the right of Shearin, but her blast sailed over the frame. From there UH took the offensive initiative and the Lady Cyclones had few opportunities thereafter.
The Cyclones will now travel to Greeneville on Tuesday to take on the Lady Greene Devils in the regional with game time at 6 pm.
“I would have rather had it on Thursday,” quipped Lady Cyclones head coach Bill McClay. “We have to face them sooner or later. We survived the onslaught, especially in the first half. Loran came up with a very nice stop and they had something like 20 shots. I think the game went into the doldrums from there for a long stretch.
“We talked at halftime about getting wider and I don’t think that psychologically we were as sharp. In the second half the shots got closer, but after 120 minutes on Tuesday and the stress of yesterday, then we went 110 minutes today. We aren’t as deep and I think that played into it.”
District 1-AA championship
University High 1-0
Elizabethton 0 0 0 0 – 0
University High 0 0 0 1 – 1
UH – Robinson (assist Oiler) 109:00