October 11th, 2017

Grunduski's goal gives Rockets 2-OT win in district title game

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Conor Revell

Staff Writer


Grunduski's goal gives Rockets 2-OT win in district title game
The Rockets with 26th District title trophy / photo by Conor Revell

Assumption’s 12th-ranked soccer team appeared to have squandered a golden opportunity in the second overtime of their game against No. 16 Male.

But Jessie Grunduski happened to be in the right place at the right time and her golden goal gave the Rockets a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory over visiting Male in the 26th District championship game Wednesday night.

“Jessie is the queen of hitting the crossbar, I’ll give her that,” Assumption head coach Hailey Tammy said. “Actually when that shot went up, something told me that it was going to go in. She has put a couple of those in this season. If there was anyone that I wanted to take that last shot it would be her for sure.”

Grunduski was standing 40 yards away from the goal, the ball came rolling, and launched it – the ball hit the top of the goalpost –  bounced down – then bounced over Lady Bulldog goalkeeper Molly Nunn’s head and into the net ending the contest with 2:34 remaining in the second overtime.

“I saw the ball coming and Morgan (Fowler) was running towards it,” Grunduski said. “I said ‘no Morgan, I got, I got it.’ I just hit it and I had hit it three or four times earlier in the game and the ball went over the goal every time. I saw it almost went in and then I saw it hit the crossbar a little bit and I was like oh no but then it went in and I was so happy.”

And, the senior was mobbed by her teammates.

“I was sitting there and Jessie has been notorious for hitting the crossbar all season,” Assumption defensive back Lindsay Reynolds said. “I was like ‘oh my gosh, that’s in, that’s in,’ I started screaming. Jessie is one of my best friends and sprinted towards the dogpile. If she had hit the crossbar again, I was going to kill her. It was awesome and I’m so happy it went in.”

The Rockets (12-7-4) have now won seven straight district titles and 21 of their last 22 games against Male (15-6-1). However, it is still quite the rivalry; this is the fourth time in the last seven meetings that the game ended in either overtime or Pks.  

Assumption was put into panic mode early on when Male’s Taylor Adams scored off a Jenna Ray assist to make it 1-0 less than three minutes into the game.

“They took us out of our game during the first 10 to 15 minutes,” Tammy said. “They were playing physical; we were backing off instead of pushing forward and playing our game. We wanted to stay on our mark because if you give them space, they’re going to make you pay and take those shots.”

Morgan Fowler got the Rockets on the board when she scored off a Hannah Hennessey assist and tied the game at one with 12:35 remaining in the first half.

“Jenna Ray was sitting in front of me,” Fowler said. “Hannah (Hennessey) threw it in and the ball went through Ray’s leg. I just hit it from there. But when I shot it, I thought the goalie was going to get it so I walked away and it went in. It was kind of crazy.”

Most of the second half was played in the midfield as Male only took two shots and Assumption fired off four shots.

“I think the early goal was a wakeup call,” Reynolds said. “We came out slow and our marking was poor. We left a girl completely wide open. After that, Coach Tammy told us to get it together and we all stuck to our marks the rest of the game and that changed everything.”

The Rockets controlled possession most of the game and fired 10 shots at Nunn who made three saves.

Male had their chances too and blasted off four shots at Assumption goalkeeper Alyssa Campisano who recorded two saves.

“You have to know that you’re going to take your bumps when you play against a team like Male,” Tammy said. “They’re physical and good. If you let them push you off the ball, they’re going to do that. You can’t wait for the call, if you fall down; you better get right back up. The last thing we’re going to do is sit around and wait for a call. If you do that, they’re going to have the ball and be gone.”

Both teams advance to next week’s Seventh Region Tournament. Assumption will host a district runner-up while the Bulldogs will travel to a district champion Tuesday night. 

 

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