In its second Region 7 match held on Friday, March 2, the Lady Bears Varsity soccer team took on Centennial at home and came out on top 2-1 after an intense overtime finish.
The Bears dominated the pitch throughout the game despite having multiple players out due to injury. About midway through the first half, a long ball from Centennial sailed in just over the fingertips of keeper Hannah Morrone, leaving the Bears trailing at halftime.
The Bears came back hungry in the second half and maintained possession with quick, aggressive offensive play that kept Centennial on the chase. The Bears' offense had many chances and some good shots on goal, but they struggled to find the back of the net. Meanwhile, freshman center back Nia Worrell anchored the Bear defense with a half-dozen tackles, seven interceptions and seven clears.
With just under five minutes left in regulation, forward Hannah Behner was finally able to break free from a physical Centennial defensive scrum and land a perfect shot in the upper right corner. The score was 1-1 at the final buzzer, but region games can't end with a tie, so the refs called for two five-minute overtime periods.
Tensions were high, but the Bears were energetic and controlled the pace. Three minutes into OT, Amanda Navin got off a beautiful shot over the Centennial keeper. The Bears led 2-1 after the first OT, but another five minutes was added to the clock. To avoid a shootout, the Bears knew they had to maintain their advantage and seal the win. The final minutes got rough, with Centennial defenders struggling to keep midfielder Mary Koch and forward Hannah Behner out of the box. An intentional trip led to a Centennial yellow card, and a free kick by Mary Koch that soared just over the crossbar.
In the end, the Bears got their much-deserved victory. This brings their record to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the region, but they're not even to the midway point in the season yet. Three critical regional matches are coming up, including an away game against Pope (March 6) and home games against Johns Creek (March 12) and Alpharetta (March 16).