Congratulations to the Springfield Catholic Fightin’ Irish who upset their large school friends this evening, 3-2 in stoppage time of the second and final OT. The goal was scored by junior Tara Bailes, who put the rebound of senior Sarah Martin’s shot into the net after crashing the six yard box. The game lived up to it’s billing, drawing a very large crowd of enthusiastic fans.
Catholic opened the scoring in the sixth minute when sr. Sarah Martin pushed a ball into the side netting after Tara Bailes kept it alive in the six yard box. The opportunity came off a run by Maddie Renner who’s cross from deep in the corner was driven low and hard into the box. Senior captain Elle Holtman extended the lead to two in the 19th minute after working a couple of short passes in the middle with Bailes. Her shot from the top of the area skipped past the keeper after deflecting off a defender.
The second half found Kickapoo adjusting well, after moving sweeper Chelsea Russell up into the midfield. Both teams missed penalty kicks, Catholic in the 50th minute and Kickapoo in the 52nd, as the ball crashed off the crossbar in both cases. Kickapoo was undaunted however while Catholic began to have second doubts about their ability to stay with the Chiefs. When Chelsea Russell’s direct kick from nearly 30 yards out sailed in just under the crossbar in the 66th minute, the intensity only increased. With junior Katy McLain now lined up as a forward, it was goalkeeper Jessica McCutcheon’s sixty yard kick that fell directly into Katy’s path. Her run at full speed with a defender attached to her side included a wonderful finish with a low hard shot to the right side. Tie game with only seven minutes to go. Two overtime periods would be required to determine a winner and as in past seasons, it was a single goal difference.
This game marks the beginning of my third year of coverage of the girls game here in Springfield (outside of that practice season with the Falcons in 2004, ask a Glendale parent about the videos I produced that year). I find that the rivalry these two teams have developed matches the quality and intensity of Glendale vs Kickapoo. Just look at the reaction of the girls following the match. I’ll be back tomorrow with a couple of short video interviews with Catholics Tara Bailes and Elle Holtman to allow you to see for yourself.