The Lady Bears JV Soccer team narrowly lost to the Pope Greyhounds, 3-2, on a misty Monday night in a game that came to life in the second half
The first half was a fairly even affair with both teams displaying neat passing moves and defenses repelling any goal threats. A lapse in concentration in the last minute of the first half gifted the Greyhounds the opening goal.
A shot in the first minute from the Greyhounds, saw Ashley Spina (41) make a smart save as she turned the ball around the post for a corner. This was the first of many important saves from the Bears goalkeeper in the game.
The Bears won a corner in the 7th minute, taken by Abby Fields (22) with Safiya Said (24) shooting just over the goal. A few minutes later, Safiya Said (24) was through on goal again, this time forcing the Greyhounds goalie into making a save.
The Greyhounds continued to threaten, but the Bears defense stood firm. A Bears freekick around 30 yards out in the 20th minute, almost opened the scoring. Safiya Said (24) played the ball over the Greyhounds defense and Erica Quinn (37) almost connected with a volley. As the ball broke lose, Sarah Fazzari (21) almost squeezed the ball in.
At the other end, Ashley Spina (41) had to be alert as the Greyhounds pressed again. A nasty looking collision between Abby Fields (22) and the Greyhounds goalkeeper in the 27th minute briefly halted the game, but thankfully both players were OK.
A couple of minutes later, another great low save from Ashley Spina (41) stopped the Greyhounds from taking the lead. Unfortunately, as the clock ticked down, a cross from the right in the last minute was put away by the Greyhounds forward to give them a 1-0 lead.
It was an even 5 minutes of action at the start of the second half, as both teams played purposefully in search of a goal for different reasons.
The Greyhounds came close to scoring the first goal of the second half in the 43rd minute but were again denied by a magnificent reaction save from Ashley Spina (41), low to her left. The Greyhounds were now putting the Bears under some sustained pressure, but the defense was resisting bravely. A Bears corner in the 47th minute almost resulted in a goal when Maria Naegle (34) volleyed a great effort just wide.
The Greyhounds doubled the lead in the 50th minute with a shot on the turn from their forward. 2-0 Pope. As the Greyhounds threatened to run away with the game, Elle Cheevers (27) showed some great grit and determination as she ran shoulder to shoulder with their forward and prevented a shot at goal.
The Bears failed to clear the ball in the 55th minute and the Greyhounds scored to take a 3-0 lead. A sensational effort would now be required if the Bears were to salvage anything from the game!
Elle Cheevers (27) went on a rampaging run from the back line, a minute later, and almost found the Bears forward line with a through ball. The Bears were not going to go quietly as they searched for a goal, putting the Greyhounds under some pressure, but lacking clear cut chances.
As the game entered the final 3 minutes, The Bears suddenly looked unstoppable! A corner in the 67th minute setting the tone. Elle Cheevers (27) found the back of the net in the 68th minute with a fine effort to reduce the deficit. 3-1 Pope, but was it too late for an unlikely comeback?
A minute later and with 30 seconds left on the clock, Elle Cheevers (27) scored again with a great turn and shot, 3-2 Pope. A great effort at the end by the Bears, but there was not enough time left to find an equalizer as the game ended 3-2 in favor of the Greyhounds.
The Bears travel to Forsyth Central for a 6PM game on Wednesday, February 21st, the second of three games this week.