Lady Pats Come Back to Beat Richmond 4-3 in OT
The Pinecrest girls had out-scored Richmond Senior 24-1 in their previous three soccer matches over the past two seasons.
That fact must have escaped the visiting Raider players as they stunned the Patriot girls by jumping out to a 3-1 lead with seven minutes left in the first half Monday night.
The Patriots bounced back to even things up at the intermission on goals by Toni Meyers and Kristen Phelps. The determined Raiders then fought off the home side until the second minute of the second 10-minute overtime period when Sarah Dejak scored the goal that gave the Pats a 4-3 victory.
The Patriots improved to 8-0 in the conference and 11-5-3 overall going into Tuesday’s non-league match at home against East Chapel Hill. The Raiders dropped to 3-6 and 7-10.
“My girls showed up tonight being the underdog, pulled up their socks and fought their butts off,” Raider coach Bennie Howard said. “I’m very proud of them.”
Defeated 8-1 by Pinecrest about five weeks ago, the Raiders scored first on a free kick by Kira Renezewitz after Dejak, the Patriot goalkeeper, was called for a handball just above the penalty area. With 12 minutes remaining in the half, Keegan Lynch crossed a ball to Meyers, who scored the equalizer with a heel while sitting on the ground in front of the goal.
The Raiders scored twice within a span of a minute and a half to take the 3-1 lead in the 33rd minute of the first half. A punch by Dejak that didn’t clear the penalty area led to a goal by Demi Luing. The third was a breakaway goal by Lashonda York.
“As soon as I saw the way the game was going, I decided to keep my mouth closed and let them figure it out,” Patriot coach Todd Abbey said. “All the credit goes to Bennie and Richmond. Tonight they were the better team effort-wise.”
The Patriots responded quickly. First, Meyers volleyed home a cross from Phelps. Then Phelps buried the rebound off a shot by Meyers, making it 3-3.
The Patriots had plenty of scoring chances in the second half and two overtime periods. The winning goal came after Abbey put freshman Abbey Crider in the goal and moved Dejak up front.
“Sarah is very smart and good with her feet as a keeper,” the Patriot coach said. “Sometimes in a game like this you need someone with no knowledge who puts their head down and gets a goal.”
Dejak had scored the only goal in a 3-1 loss to Jacksonville 10 days earlier. With Kathryn Palmer working to her right, the two manufactured a number of opportunities before the pair linked up for the match-winner.
“It was basically a give and go,” Palmer said of the back and forth passes between the two that ate up about 30 yards before the decisive shot from about 10 yards away. “Sarah is the goalkeeper and we just had to figure out how to play together.”
The Patriots hold a one-game lead over 7-1 Hoke County in the conference. The two teams meet at Pinecrest on Monday and at Hoke on Wednesday. With the state playoffs about two weeks away, Abbey felt the close match with the Raiders was a good test for his team.
“I’m not concerned about the rankings,” he said. “For me this was a great game because in the playoffs you get those situations where you know you are the better team and just have to grind it out and figure out how to win.”
Contact Charlie Bergmann at email@example.com.
More like this story