Redbank Valley may have scored all three of the goals in Monday afternoon's girls' soccer "pink match" at the St. Marys Area High School soccer field, but for the first 68:53 of the game it looked as though the Lady Dutch were going to cruise to a 1-0 victory. Instead, the Lady Bulldogs added a pair of goals in the final 11:07 to come away with the 2-1 win.
"A goal for our team this year is [working on] the psychological aspect of the game," said St. Marys Area coach Johanna Schmidt. "In every game so far this season, that's been a recurring theme. They (the players) learn with every win and with every loss what they're capable of, and in a game like today they became too comfortable with the score."
"There were some tactical issues going on that they know how to fix and that they need to fix in our upcoming games because our record is currently 6-7. Depending on what happens for the next four games, we will or won't go to playoffs. Today is a day to learn from, and we could have done better today," Schmidt added. "I think it was a good effort from Rachael Caretti today. She's a freshman. She played well and typically without error. Everybody else could have played harder."
St. Marys was on the attack from the start, and they kept the ball on Redbank's half of the field for almost the entire opening four minutes of play, during which time they were awarded a pair of corner kicks but were unable to score off of either. On their third and final corner of the first half, though, the kick by the Lady Dutch's Caley Keister was juggled around in front of the Lady Bulldogs' goal and ultimately ended up getting past keeper Sydney Reinsel. The own goal, which came with 28:33 remaining in the half, gave the Lady Dutch a 1-0 lead that they would retain for much of the rest of the game.
While St. Marys Area unofficially out-shot Redbank 8-3 in the first half, the Lady Bulldogs picked up the pace the second half as each team unofficially managed nine shots. For Redbank though, two of those shots ended up in the back of the net.
With 11:28 remaining in the match, the Lady Bulldogs sent a shot straight into the arms of St. Marys keeper Megan Bridges, who came up with the easy save. Bridges was not so lucky less than 30 seconds later as Jade Adams was able to slip the ball into the net and even the score at 1-all.
Both teams kept battling, and it appeared the game might need to be settled in overtime. St. Marys Area almost pulled back ahead with 5:07 left on the clock as Keister sent a direct kick just over top of Redbank's goal.
The Lady Bulldogs completed their comeback just over a minute later as Adams was able to outmaneuver Bridges and score what would turn out to be the game winner. Following Adams' goal, which came with 4:18 remaining, Redbank Valley played solid defense to eliminate any St. Marys threats and held on to come away with the 2-1 win.
Because the match was a "pink game" for St. Marys, all of the Lady Dutch players sported bright pink T-shirts in place of their regular game uniforms. The Dutch soccer players also got in on the action, not only attending the game to support the girls' squad, but players from the boys' team also manned the concession stand, bake sale, and other fundraising events. Proceeds from the "pink game" will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
The Lady Dutch will be back in action today as they travel to Keystone for a 4 p.m. game.