Pomeroys Host the Oaks, Match Ends in Draw
October 20th, 2010 |
It’s coming down to the wire. Your Pomeroys hosted the Oaks of Oakland City University Tuesday afternoon, October 19, 2010 in a match with big consequences for possible seeding high enough for a bid to the USCAA National Tournament. Because the Oaks play in NCAA Division II, they represent a larger opportunity to score points in the final rundown to the bid choices this coming Monday. Last year had seen the Oaks prevail 2-1 twice, one of those an overtime thriller in Oakland City.
Once again, the match would not disappoint fans of tough, all-out matches. The Pomeroys struck first in the third minute, with Erin Pugh notching her 10th goal of the season on an assist from Jessica Black. This year, the Pomeroys seemed to have a little more dominance of the possession, and they made the Oaks pay, constantly possessing through their midfield and finding Erin Pugh and Samantha Morrison on diagonal runs behind the Oak defense. But Oakland City found reserves of strength and turned up the physicality, bringing hard tackling and challenges to the middle of the field and sending their forwards in on long balls. It was only late in the first half that the Pomeroys again took control in a series of attacks that were capped by a chance on a blocked shot which deflected back out to Jessica Black, who buried the long drive for a 2-0 halftime lead.
It is said that a 2-goal lead is the most dangerous in soccer. Though the Pomeroys held their edge in possession and kept their composure well, the pounding took a bit of a toll. Samantha Morrison, Paige Leuthold, and Liz DeMoss would all have to spend time recovering from hard collisions before they could return. Like Kaskaskia, the Oaks staked their chances on long ball counterattacking. In the 68th minute it paid off for them, as Nichole Tsimekes finished off a ball that had landed in a scrum in front of goal without being cleared. That brought to Oaks closer, 2-1, with time left on the clock. It looked like the Pomeroys might manage the ball and close out the clock, but, with just over 3 minutes to play, the Oaks’ Carmen Van Winkle got in on a central through pass and, as April Baranowski came out to make the save, got a tiny touch past her. The ball rolled agonizingly toward the corner, hit the post, and angled in. The match was knotted at 2-2. Time ran out and two ten-minute overtime periods of golden goal ensued. The Pomeroys created the best chances, including a free kick just outside the box and a shot centered up in front of goal, but could not put the game away. The horn sounded on a second draw, 2-2.
This makes the Pomeroys 5-5-2, a very good record in comparison to USCAA leaders who play good competition, and the points for playing a DII team to a draw will help. But the suspense continues. They play Robert Morris-Springfield at home at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, with a chance to complete the first winning season of the Pomeroy soccer program.