Late goal leads Cambridge to draw
CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- In Wasaren League girls soccer, every point is critical, as it is arguably the toughest conference in Section II.
For most of the game on Thursday between league foes Cambridge and Stillwater, it looked like the Warriors would get the points for a 1-goal win.
Thankfully for the Indians, senior midfielder Sarah Cuddihy would have one of the last words on that.
Cuddihy scored for Cambridge with 23 seconds left in regulation to force overtime as the Indians and Warriors tied at 1-1, each receiving a point in the standings.
"It was great, we take every goal with excitement, we haven’t scored many this year," Cuddihy said.
For the final 10 minutes of regulation, Cambridge pushed up, trying to take advantage of their speed compared to the Stillwater defensive backs. With Cambridge coach Rich Sweeney imploring his team to move as fast as they could with time running out, senior Sarah Bateman snuck a pass into the middle to Cuddihy, who got the ball to her left foot and floated a ball over the defenders and past the outstretched arms of goalie Katelynn Brewster for the equalizer.
"She just found me, I don’t know how through all the defenders," Cuddihy said. "I knew the game was running out, so I needed to take the shot. I was trying to get the defender off my back."
Rejuvenated for the overtime, Cambridge started to gain momentum. In the first minute of OT, the Indians played a terrific through ball toward the net, but they were called for offside.
Later on, Stillwater’s Erica Nichols rocketed a free kick toward the goal but Cambridge net-minder Courtney Davis came out to make the save -- one of 17 on the day for the sophomore.
"I wanted to help as much as I could, keep supporting them," Davis said. "It helps have a lot of good defenders. I was excited during the overtime, I would have felt really bad if we lost 2-1."
Cambridge nearly ended it in the second overtime as well. Olivia Mooney took a free kick just outside the box and after the ball bounced around in the goal area, Montana Brown flicked it over the goalie -- but the ball hit the crossbar and bounded away.
"It was too bad we didn’t win in OT," Cuddihy said. "Montana’s ball off the bar was unlucky, we dominated the overtime, but we couldnt finish."
Stillwater took a 1-0 lead with nine minutes left in the first half as Nichols blasted a shot past Davis for the early advantage.
"We always try to score early on, continue to put pressure on and maintain possession," said Stillwater coach Christine Ihnatolya. "We had a couple of good opportunities but we couldn’t find the net."
Low on numbers as is, the Warriors suffered a couple of injuries where players were forced to leave the game, but the team stuck it out for the full 100 minutes to score the point.
"They faced adversity and never gave up and showed a lot of character," Ihnatolya said. "No matter what happens, we stick together... I was so proud of how they held with the injuries. They gave 100 percent effort, so even a tie at the end, I’m happy with that."
Cambridge is 1-2-1 on the season, while Stillwater is 2-1-2.
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