Clearfield ties Hollidaysburg|
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - Brandie Centi kept the Clearfield girls soccer team in the game early and B.J. Bowman scored the equalizer in the waning seconds to lead the Lady Bisons to a 2-2, double-overtime tie with Hollidaysburg Monday afternoon at the Bison Sports Complex.
Lady Bison keeper Centi was peppered with shots, especially in a first-half that saw Hollidaysburg spend much of its time in the Clearfield end of the field. But she was more than up for the task, making 10 first-half saves (18 for the game) and keeping the score close at the break. Hollidaysburg held just a 1-0 lead despite a 15-1 advantage in shots.
Centi followed up her first-half performance with an equally impressive second that included a jaw-dropping save on a breakaway.
On the play, Centi came out to challenge the Lady Tiger player who was racing down the left wing behind the Clearfield defense. Centi then had to dive back across her body, fully extending to knock the ball away with her fingertips. She immediately bounced up and corralled the ball before a rebound shot could be attempted.
"We've been working with the keepers in practice on diving and pushing off with their feet," Clearfield head coach Jen Wright said. "It sure paid off. That save was key. It was an awesome save. Brandie made a bunch of big saves."
Clearfield tied the game early in the second half when Brooke Mohney made a nice pass to an open Bowman, who beat Hollidaysburg keeper Alexis Preston to her left at 49:51.
"Brooke played a great ball into the box and B.J. was there to tuck it in," Wright said.
That goal not only evened things on the scoreboard, but it also propelled a shift in momentum and field position.
"It definitely took the wind out of (Hollidaysburg's) sails," Wright said. "Momentum was on our side."
Centi's highlight-reel save followed several minutes after the Bowman goal, keeping the momentum squarely on the Lady Bison's shoulders.
But the Lady Tigers found a way to solve Centi at 71:12 when Jamie McConnell was left all alone on the doorstep following a Hollidaysburg corner kick. McConnell beat Centi to the far post to give Hollidaysburg a 2-1 lead.
But Clearfield never let up, playing hard to the final whistle. That perseverance paid off in a big way when Bowman got behind the Holldaysburg defense with six seconds left in the game to score the game-tying goal.
Candice Morgan started the scoring play when she won a loose ball at midfield, settled it and sent it toward the Lady Tiger net.
The ball sailed past everyone and Preston was out of position, allowing Bowman to jet to the ball and practically walk it to the Lady Tiger net.
"B.J. followed the ball right into the goal," Wright said. "Morgan played a good ball from midfield to start it."
Only four shots were attempted in the two overtime periods, although one Lady Tiger shot was precariously close to causing a problem for Clearfield, but defender Emily Barger got a foot on the ball and directed it away from a open net.
Defenders Barger, Morgan, Sabrina Schwartz and sweeper Lisa Bumbarger made countless big plays throughout the game.
"They were very solid in the back," Wright said. "The defense didn't allow Hollidaysburg to have space. The defense was solid for 100 minutes."
Wright was also very pleased with her midfield.
"Our inside mids (Mohney and Nichole Powers) played very solid for us," she said. "And our outside mids (Katlyn Reddinger, Jayme Ryan and Barger) moved up and down the field a lot supporting both the offense and defense. And Kristen Butler played great up top. She put a lot of pressure on the ball and caused some turnovers which gave us chances.
"Every player on the team came out with lots of heart and passion. I'm proud of each and every one of them."
Clearfield also played to a 2-2 tie in the jayvee game. Briana Ianaro and Melinda Owens scored for the Lady Bisons. CG Anderson assisted on the Ianaro tally.
Clearfield is back in action Wednesday, playing host to State College.
Clearfield 2, Hollidaysburg 2, 2 OT
1. Brooke Lindsay, H, (unassisted), 38:46.
2. B.J. Bowman, C, (Brooke Mohney), 49:51.
3. Jamie McConnell, H, (unassisted), 71:12.
4. Bowman, C, (Candice Morgan), 79:54.
Shots: Hollidaysburg 25, Clearfield 9.
Saves: Hollidaysburg (Alexis Preston) 4, Clearfield (Brandie Centi) 18.
Corner kicks: Hollidaysburg 5, Clearfield 0.