CURWENSVILLE — After missing nearly the entire second overtime of Monday’s game against Redbank Valley, Curwensville’s Chloe Davis, who left the field in the 81st minute suffering from exhaustion, returned to corral a ball at midfield and send a perfect pass to the deep right wing to Emma Rebar, who slammed home the game-winner at 98:48, propelling the Lady Tide to a 6-5 victory over the Lady Bulldogs.
“Chloe did dig deep,” Curwensville head coach Brian Spencer said. “She kept fighting. She wanted a couple minutes in the second overtime and I gave it to her, but I said, ‘I need you back.’ She sucked it up and she did it.
“And Emma got us a pk and then finished that cross from Chloe.”
Davis had two goals and two assists in the game, including a score at 71:21 that gave the Lady Tide a brief 5-4 advantage until Redbank’s Brooke Eberle answered a little over a minute later with the equalizer that sent the game to overtime.
The team’s combined for five goals in a span of 10:11 in the second half.
Davis’ first goal came at 9:16 of the first half and gave the Lady Tide a 2-0 lead, despite playing much of the opening 10 minutes defending the Lady Bulldogs in their defensive third.
Haylee Mullins scored the first of her two goals at 5:56 as Curwensville scored on two of its first three shots.
Curwensville did gain control of possession for about the next 10 minutes, but Redbank Valley flipped the script and went on the attack again.
The Lady Bulldogs kept up relentless pressure in the Curwensville end for much of the rest of the half, resulting in a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks. They converted on one at 29:46 when Quinn Fricko was able to beat Lady Tide keeper Maura Bunnell through traffic in the front of the net.
“I thought we looked a little flat and defensively we were out of sync,” Spencer said. “I think we let them make a couple runs on us and they kept getting behind us. I kept telling my back line that we had to keep it straight because we were letting them get the ball through.”
Redbank Valley took the momentum into the break and held it into the second half when it tied the game at 2-2 on an Eberle goal at 43:54.
Eberle was just getting started.
The Lady Bulldog forward scored four times on five shots in the second half and recorded 10 of her teams’ 18 shots on goal in the game.
Eberle cashed in on a penalty kick at 55:08, when Curwensville was called for a hand ball in the box, to give Redbank its only lead of the game.
But Rebar knotted things up at 62:19 on a penalty kick of her own after the Lady Bulldogs were whistled for a foul in Curwensville’s box.
Just a little over two minutes later, Mullins booted the ball past Redbank keeper Gabby Dinger off a Davis corner kick to give Curwensville the lead back.
But the Lady Tide’s advantage was short-lived as Eberle received a cross pass from Carley Shick and slotted the ball by Bunnell at 68:51 to tie the game once again.
Davis put the hosts back in front at 71:21 when she danced between a couple Lady Bulldog defenders, carrying the ball from the right wing to the center of the goal box around the 18 before putting on the brakes and sending a quick shot back to the near post to make it 5-4.
The back-and-forth between the teams continued just 1:09 later when Eberle sent in a high, arcing shot from about 30 yards out that tucked under the cross bar, but over the outstretched hands of Bunnell to tie the game at 5.
“It was like a roller coaster,” Spencer said. “(Assistant coach) Lenny (Rebar) and I said that we lost 10 years of our life in that game.”
Curwensville had two chances to win in the first overtime.
Madison Sheeder, fresh off the bench, got behind the Redbank defense and nearly ended it about two minutes in, but her shot was stopped by Dinger.
“We put our freshman Madi Sheeder in because we wanted the fresh legs,” Spencer said. “We knew they were tired and Madi has tons of speed. She got that breakaway and two feet one way or the other and the game is over right there.”
Rebar had a chance moments later on another breakaway, but her shot sailed over the crossbar.
She made her next shot in the second overtime count, putting the finishing touches on Davis’ long pass to give Curwensville a 3-0 start to the season.
“I thought that we were in much more possession of the ball in overtime,” Spencer said. “I’m not sure why. I think our defense kind of figured things out, especially in the overtime. Tenleigh (Bumbarger) is such a good stopper and she really helps back there. Her and Sydney (Spencer) work really well together. But I can’t say enough about all the girls. Maura made some big saves when we needed her to. It was a hard-fought win.
“That’s three in a row, but I told the girls that we have to keep building. We’re just building the foundation. It’s been a couple years in the making. I just tell the girls to keep fighting and playing hard.”
The Lady Tide travel to Brockway on Wednesday.
Redbank Valley 5
1. Haylee Mullins, C, (unassisted), 5:56.
2. Chloe Davis, C, (unassisted), 9:16.
3. Quinn Fricko, RV, (unassisted), 29:46.
4. Brooke Eberle, RV, (unassisted), 43:54.
5. Eberle, RV, (penalty kick), 55:08.
6. Emma Rebar, C, (penalty kick), 62:19.
7. Mullins, C, (Davis), 64:46.
8. Eberle, RV, (Carley Shick), 68:51.
9. Davis, C, (unassisted), 71:21.
10. Eberle, RV, (unassisted), 72:30.
11. Rebar, C, (Davis), 98:48.
Shots: Redbank Valley 18, Curwensville 16.
Saves: Redbank Valley (Gabby Dinger) 9, Curwensville (Maura Bunnell) 13.
Corner kicks: Redbank Valley 11, Curwensville 5.