Pomeroys Host Bearcats
September 20th, 2010 | By Michael Aycock
September 19, 2010, the Pomeroys took on the visiting Bearcats of Brescia University, who came in ready to show why they were second last year in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic conference with six all-conference selections. Though down to eleven players due to injuries, the Bearcats were not willing to concede that those eleven couldn’t win matches.
For the first time in a few matches, the Pomeroys came out establishing their possession and using fast combination play to get down the wings and through the midfield. They slowly backed up the Bearcats and gained dominance of the midfield, getting into the attacking third at a very regular clip. Though they made a few counterattacking forays, the Bearcats weren’t able to get quality chances on goal and found themselves scrambling back to hold off another Pomeroy surge. The Pomeroys got serves across the box and deep possessions all the way to the goal line, but couldn’t find the key to unlock the goal. When the halftime whistle finally sounded, the Pomeroys had been into the attacking third 27 times, earned 3 corners, and had gotten off 6 shots, 4 of which were on frame. The Bearcats had only managed 11 trips into the attacking third and no shots, but were finding their strategy: back in and pack the defensive third, and wait for chances to break out with 2 or 3 pass counterattacks.
It was a strategy that would prevail. Though the Pomeroys enjoyed the same possession dominance in the second half, the Bearcats took heart that some of their counterattacks were getting better. In the 60th minute, they earned a free kick some 35 yards from goal on the right side. Lea Anderson struck a driven ball on line towards Pomeroy keeper April Baranowski and Violet Maka rose to get a flicking header on the ball. The slight change of direction right in front of Baranowski put the ball past her hands, off her head, and into the goal for a 1-0 Bearcat lead. The Pomeroys would continue to get good possession, but continued to struggle to find a way through the last line of the Bearcat defense, partly because Brescia set up their offside line very deep and left almost no room for angled balls behind the defense and still in front of their keeper. With 12 minutes left, another long possession found the Pomeroy midfield shifting the ball across the middle of the field to the open weak side on the left, where Paige Leuthold had come forward from her defender position. She had time to line up a shot, and struck a drive from about 28 yards that was headed for the top right corner of the goal. Brescia goalkeeper Mary Buckman made a leap and got her fingers to the ball, which was deflected slightly up, into the crossbar, and back out into the field of play. It was a great save and marked the last serious threat of the Pomeroys. Agonizingly, time ran out with the Bearcats on top, 1-0. It was an emotional, hard-won victory for them, and a hard lesson for us.
This leaves your Pomeroys at 3-2. They will host Adrian College on Wednesday at 4:00 in another of their hardest challenges.