Springfield Catholic – 2 (PK’s)
Glendale Falcons – 1
In one of the most competitive and entertaining games of this season, the Southeast side rivals went toe-to-toe this evening in a classic battle. With the wind at their backs to start the game, Catholic applied plenty of pressure and had the first real opportunity when freshman Shelby Hatz was sent in on goal on a nice simple header by Anna Delong. Senior Rachel Duckworth reacted quickly and was able to deflect the shot
. She would be called on again to backstop her teammates as Delong broke in alone. Catholic had a series of set pieces and corner kicks late in the half but were unable to score.
The Falcon’s finally broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, scoring on a header by Lorin Opfer from a corner kick by Emilee Williams. It was classic Opfer, as she went up in the middle of a crowd to find the ball. It came after a period of sustained pressure at the start of the second half, including Emily Cline’s breakaway in the 4th minute of the half, broken up by freshman Rachel Scott (pictured above) and cleared from behind her by defender Rachel Herron. It was beginning to appear that the wind and the pace would conspire to tire out the Irish. It’s a regular model for the Falcon’s as their 15 player rotation offers depth and speed that is not matched by many teams in the region.
There is no quit in the Irish however, and it was the fourth breakaway of the game when they finally broke through, as Shelby Hatz unleashed her shot from 12 yards out and to the far post on her third opportunity of the day, and out of Duckworth’s range this time. That is the real story line of this game – senior Rachel Duckworth of the Glendale Falcon’s can no longer be considered a rookie goaltender after the display she put on this evening, including two late saves requiring her to go horizontal to push shots wide. For the Irish, freshman Rachel Scott matched the result with her saves on shots inside the box in the final OT period in addition to her earlier work.
The resulting tie led to PK’s. Catholic shooters Anne Prenger, Ronnie Renner and Tara Bailes scored while the Falcons Cline, Opfer and Katie Brewer matched them in the initial round of five. In sudden death, GK Rachel Scott scored as did junior Maddy Renner while Maggie Schrier for the Falcons also scored. Advantage Irish 5-4 after seven rounds.
Now is as good a time as any to introduce you to my new photo website as well. In an effort to cover expenses (time, gas, my supplies) I’ve set up a site that offers printing services. Click on the Slide Show link and you’ll be taken to the site. You can see full resolution photos and order a wide variety of photo products featuring your favorite players by your favorite soccer journalist. Your support, via purchase of photos, will be greatly appreciated.
I’ll continue to provide low resolution photos on the Flickr website which your team is welcome to use on your website to promote the team. Please provide attribution if you do use them and remember, non-commercial use only. I’ve also been uploading photos to my Facebook page so reach out and friend me if you want me to tag you and save you the hassles of downloading the Flickr photos. Questions?