A tie may be the most appropriate result from the match between the Washington Catholic Lady Cardinals (4-7-1) and the Owen Valley Lady Patriots as both teams dominated one half of the game. The Lady Cardinals fought hard to get back into the game after trailing 2-0, but were not able to put the Lady Patriots away at Rees Field on Monday.
Play began as a battle for which team could control the middle third of the field. Both Washington Catholic and Owen Valley were able to string together fastbreak runs to put pressure on the goalkeepers but good defensive stops prevented any scores. Eventually, Owen Valley took control of the possession game and they were able to connect on a couple of scores almost back to back. At the 4:44-minute mark, the Lady Patriots snuck a shot passed WC goalkeeper, Adeline O’Brian, into the left side net. A couple of minutes later, at the 2:55-minute mark before halftime, a nearly identical play resulted in Owen Valley’s second and final goal of the contest.
“We moved a little slow in the first half,” WC coach Austin Deem said. “The girls were playing in a more reactive manor instead of anticipating where the ball was going or where the play was developing. The defense today had a nice game and really only had a lapse in the final few minutes before halftime. Alyssa Davison, who is one of our leaders in the back, has been dealing with some injuries recently so we really relied on Hallie Leischner, Margaret Bassler, and Brynna Hunter to step up and play some solid defense. We moved Ally Cline back to the stopper position and she did a great job adjusting and keeping plays alive.”
Washington Catholic came out a new team in the second half, as the possession game was dominated by WC. The Lady Cardinals used a balanced attack from both sides of the field to pressure the defense and goalkeeper. Freshmen Mya Cline, Ella Grissom, and Maritza Villagran each recorded shots that could not find the net. It appeared the Lady Cardinals would get on the board when junior Jayden Hoffman lobbed a high, arcing shot towards net, but the Owen Valley goalkeeper was just able to get her hands on the shot. As the ball stayed on the WC offensive end, several corner kicks eventually lead to some opportunities for the Cardinals. At the 24:42 mark, junior Claire Fox centered a corner kick. Grissom found the centered ball and played a drop pass to junior Ellie Rutledal, who blasted a shot off of the side post, deflecting off the goalkeeper, and into the net. Washington Catholic kept up the pressure and kept producing chances to tie the game. With eight minutes left to play, Claire Fox lined up another corner kick and again found Grissom. Grissom played a ball off to sophomore Jenny Lopez who netted the equalizing goal.
“Ellie had a great game today. She was all over the field making plays and creating for herself and her teammates,” Deem said. “The second half team we saw today is the team that we should be all of the time. They played under control, they kept their spacing well, and they made the simple play. That is what is going to lead to success for us. Of course, we wanted to win this game, but the girls showed perseverance and determination to not get down on themselves and to fight their way back into the game.”
The Lady Cardinals will finish their regular season this Thursday as they host Evansville Day School at 6 p.m. The Lady Cardinals will then begin post-season play in Sullivan as they taken on the North Knox Lady Warriors.