2013 SEASON: NEWS: LATE PENALTY KICK LIFTS LADY COMETS TO 3-2 WIN

Saturday, October 12
LATE PENALTY KICK LIFTS LADY COMETS TO 3-2 WIN
asett
Adrianna Green played valuable minutes on the the back line today

The Lady Comets have not staged too many come-from-behind victories this season; in fact, until today, they had not recorded any. Only twice has the team trailed in a game this year, and the girls did not win either time. So, in today's game, they displayed, not only a sizable amount of grit, but also a side of themselves that we have not hitherto seen, when they came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to defeat the Williamsport Millionaires 3-2  in an non-conference game on the road.

For the second straight game, Abington's opponent was cited for handling in the box. However, today's call was crucial. With the score tied 2-2--and with just 28 seconds left in regulation play--an exuberant Williamsport player extended her arm and deflected a cross that was flying through the top of the six-yard box. This gave the Lady Comets a golden penalty kick opportunity. Isabelle Clauss, who had been having a good game in the second half, stepped up and calmly deposited the kick into the net to secure the win. The few remaining seconds faded quickly and Williamsport saw a game that they once held in hand slip away from them in an incredible manner. 

There was a marked difference between Abington's play in the two halves. The second-half version of the Lady Comets performed almost as if it was a wholly reconstituted team. No, the players did not step into a phone booth at intermission and return to the pitch in Superwomen capes, but they did return with a reorganized lineup, a lineup which placed more speed higher up in the formation and which helped re-fuel what in the first half was a sputtering Lady Comet attack.

In the first half, Williamsport opened up with a formation in which its sweeper was playing so deep she needed scuba gear.  Consequently, the Abington girls were not able to push up against the Millionaire's restraining line as much as they may have wished, and instead fell into an accordian formation where the Lady Comets adopted both a high line of defense and a low line of confrontation. This had the effect of squeezing a lot of action into the middle third of the pitch.

The second half, with the modified lineup, brought forth a different style of play; and the Lady Comets were able to stretch their opponent both vertically and horizontally, opening up some better passing lanes for moving the ball up the field.

The combined effect of the early hour and a two-hour bus trip might have accounted for Abington's slow start today. The Milllionaires jumped on the Lady Comets, scoring a goal just a little over four minutes into the game. Williamsport extended the lead when a looping shot from distance fell in over the outstretched arms of Blair Cacciamani. After some back and forth, the teams entered into what seemed to be a foul fest. There were 29 fouls recorded between the two teams today! The contest became "chippy" and exceptionally physical, and neither team launched many shots on goal. 

After some valiant work in the second half, an Abbey Burke corner kick fell accurately into the box and a wide-eyed Isabelle Clauss was there to put the ball away. Clauss had been moved forward from the back line; and, once situated higher up in the formation, she was able to release five on-frame shots in the second stanza. However, her best offensive moment came, not from a shot, but with an assist. At the 62 minute mark, she feathered a perfect lead pass to a streaking Ally Christman who scored the game's equalizing goal with a drive hit off of the run.  This was one of the prettiest plays of the season.

It looked like the game was headed for overtime until the above-described penalty-kick opportunity arose and brought down a quick curtain on the game.

Coach Hunter was happy to see the resilient character of his team. He was pleased with the second-half comeback effort, but would probably be happy if he never has to watch his team work back from a two-goal deficit again.

Next game will be against Western Wayne on Monday at home at 4:15. Be there!