October 2nd, 2017

Cougars and Toppers play to a draw

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


Cougars and Toppers play to a draw
photo by Conor Revell

The last time Holy Cross and Presentation soccer teams met on the field, the outcome was much different than their first meeting.

Playing for the second time in less than a month, Pres and the host Cougars played to a 1-1 draw Monday night.

“We were much more focused as a team tonight,” Pres head coach Andrew Gottbrath said. “We were much better defensively. Holy Cross has some phenominal players up top and we were able to identify them. We tried our best to shut them down. It was a really good game and I thought both teams played really well overall.”

Holy Cross (7-5-3) had defeated the Toppers 3-1 back on Sept. 6 in the All “A” Classic Sixth Region championship game.

“The field definitely makes a difference,” Holy Cross head coach Scott Walker said. “We played there at a city park. It gets a lot of different play. There it’s really hard play possession soccer so it ends up being a game of kickball; we just did a better job of playing kickball. Tonight, we possessed the ball and we did what we had to do. We created the opportunity, we hit the post several times, if we had one inch that way or one inch the other way, it’s a much different ballgame.”

Holy Cross had eight of the previous nine against their archrival coming into the game.

Karly McKinney scored off a Jaden Johnson assist for the Cougars lone goal while Presentation’s Leah Vogt scored on a penalty kick when Holy Cross goalkeeper Bella Velez committed a foul in the box.

“This game is always a passionate game,” McKinney said. “They came on the field ready to play. We had already gotten a glimpse of each other the first game. I think the atmosphere was a bit different. It just made for a different game.”

Most of the game was played in midfield as the two teams combined for only seven shots.

The Toppers (7-7-1) fired two shots with Velez making one save.

“I think we played more aggressively tonight and we identified their strongest players,” Vogt said. “We played to our strengths and we didn’t let them take over.”

Holy Cross took five shots, Pres freshman goalkeeper Morgan Meyers made two saves.

With the game being in a scoreless tie, Johnson created space and found McKinney who fired a shot. Meyers dove but was unable to stop the ball from rolling into the left corner of the net to put the Cougars up 1-0 with 14:52 to go in the first half.

“We have been working on spacing a lot,” McKinney said. “Jaden made the perfect pass to me in the perfect spot. I just finished it by shooting it into the corner of the net.”

It McKinney’s sixth goal of the season and Johnson’s first assist of the season.

Vogt tied the game up when PK shot rolled to the right of an extended Velez with 9:48 remaining in the opening half.

“My focus is to just keep it in and keep it low,” Vogt said. “It wasn’t my best PK but I was focused on getting it into a corner so that the game would be tied.”

It was Vogt’s 16th goal of the season.

“Leah (Vogt) is our most sure footed player,” Gottbrath said. “We trust her with anything – from corner kicks, free kicks, to PKs. When that happened, there was no doubt who was going to take that kick for us. She came through.”

The Cougars spent most of the second half possessing the ball and even had two shots that hit the post but was unable to finish.

“We created opportunities tonight,” Walker said. “I have been trying to get them to do that all year. Our girls were where they were needed to be. We had a couple of free kicks and a few good corner kicks. They threw 11 girls at us in the box. They played defense while we went on the offense.” 

 

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