Patriots and Panthers battle to a draw

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BENNINGTON — In a cross border match-up as you will, the Mount Anthony and Hoosick Falls girls soccer teams played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon at Spinelli Field.

The first half showcased both teams defenses shutting down the others offense.

Both goalkeepers were on their game in the first half to with Sydney Miller recording two saves for the Panthers and Erika McCarthy making three good saves for MAU.

The first break of the contest came with just over two minutes left in the first half when a hand ball infraction was called on Abigale Whitman in the MAU box, awarding Angela Gonzalez and the Panthers a penalty shot.

Lucky for the Patriots and unfortunate for Hoosick Falls, Gonzalez's shot went over the cross bar, keeping the game scoreless going into halftime.

"It was tough not being able to score on the penalty kick," said Hoosick Falls coach Tom Husser. "You don't see Angela miss a penalty kick and we missed a lot of scoring opportunities ourselves in the game too, so the ball wasn't bouncing our way today."

The Hoosick Falls offense though did finally get a shot into the net in the first 10 minutes of the second half, when Josie Ryan came out of the scrum in front of the Patriots net with the ball and knocked home her first career high school goal to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

"Josie's goal came at the right time and allowed us to gain control of the game," Husser said. "Not a bad way to get your first career high school goal I say."

Down one, the Patriots were now the team in search of some offense.

With just under 15 minutes remaining in regulation, the Patriots got the offense they needed to tie the game thank to senior captain Emily Altland.

In her first game back from suffering a injury during practice a couple weeks ago, Altland broke away from the pack at midfield and the strolled into the Panthers box, where she slapped in a shot to get the Patriots on the board and tie the game at 1-1.

"Emily played a really good game for us in her return to the lineup," said MAU coach Mark Boudreau. "She scored a huge goal to get us back into the game and it was great seeing her out on the field with the team again."

Altland's goal really revved up the attack of the Patriots offense, which controlled the ball in the Panthers half of the field for the rest of regulation.

MAU though couldn't get another shot in the net as Miller kept the game even by recording five of her nine saves in the second half.

The Patriots did have a chance at the end of regulation to get the win, but Cat Worthington's shot hit the crossbar and Miller was able to fall on top of the ball, keeping the game tied and forcing overtime.

"We were unlucky there," Boudreau said. "The girls did a nice job there passing during the sequence and that gave Cat a good scoring opportunity, but unfortunately the ball didn't bounce our way there."

MAU got another golden opportunity to walk away with the win again at the end of first ten minute overtime period, when Brenna sent a sweet pass to Worthington who wiffed on the shot and the ball then was slowly corralled by Madison Little.

That gave Miller time reset herself and make a save on Little's shot to force a second overtime period.

In the second overtime period, Hoosick Falls this time had a chance to get the win, but Darian Morgan's shot went over the cross bar.

On the other side of the field, Little had a chance to redeem herself from her missed opportunity in the first overtime period and just like Morgan, shot a ball over the cross bar to keep it still a 1-1 game.

As the whistle blew, the game stood still at 1-1 and both teams had to go home with a tie.

"We got off to a slow start and that effected the outcome for us in the game," Budrow said. "The girls came back with a lot of heart in the second half to get back in the game, which I was very happy to see. Still though we didn't play as well as we have had in the past few game and there are still things we have to work on."

McCarthy finished with seven saves in the game for MAU who now go to 6-5-1 on the season and have two games this week against Brattleboro and BBA finish off regular season play.

This game on the other hand for the Panthers was their final game of the regular season, giving them a 9-4-3 record in regular season play.

In their final eight games of the regular season, Hoosick Falls went 5-0-3, so Husser is very happy about his teams play going into the playoffs.

"We had a nice little run there to end the season and the girls are playing very well as a unit right," Husser said. "Will take these next few days to get healthy and once we find out who we're playing in the first round of the playoffs, will start working on a plan to get a win."


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