They knew it wasn’t going to be easy and they would have to battle consistently when they face the Malone Huskies and after an early dismissal and an hour long bus ride, the initial energy was low and the Bears were not on their A game.
In the first half the Bears were lacking their normally strong sense of communication and compassion. Due to the heat, the Bears had short but intense shifts and each girl had to try and make the most of their shift. The slow pace of play made it easy for the Huskies to share in the control of play in the first half. The lack of communication made it hard for the Bears to connect on their passes and possess the ball. The Huskies were able to sneak the ball past the defense and Bree Rogers, putting the Huskies up 0-1. The Bears instantly knew they were going to have to battle in order to stay in the game.
After halftime, the Bears emerged stronger and more energized. This enabled the Bears to connect more with each other providing them with many more opportunities to score than in the first half. The Lady Bears also did a better job at wall passing and their through balls were penetrating the Huskie defense allowing them some quality shots on net. Off a throw-in, Anna Woodruff was able to dribble by a Malone defender and get a quality shot on net. The shot hit off a Huskie fullback putting the Bears on the board. The Bears battled for the remainder of the second half and the game went into overtime tied at 1-1.
In the first 10 minutes of overtime the Bears were focused and had a few opportunities to take the lead but Malone was able to get through the defense and score off a rebound. This made it 2-1 Malone. The Bears knew they couldn’t give up because there was still another 10 minute overtime. In the second overtime the Bears played their hearts out hoping to put the ball in the net to tie. After many battles to win the ball and the Bears running hard to every 50/50 ball the Bears had one more opportunity. With about 15 seconds left Camryn Sipher forced a corner kick. Ally Kiah sprinted to the corner and was able to put the ball into the 18 box wasting only 5 seconds and Sophomore Emily Estabrooks put a perfect shot right over the goalies head tying the game with 10 seconds left.
The Bears hope to learn from how they played the first half as they face OFA Blue Devils on Thursday at 4:00 at home. Stop by the game and wear pink to support breast cancer awareness.