LEWISBURG — Tri-County North’s girls soccer squad wants five minutes of its post-season back.
The eight-seeded Panthers allowed three goals in that time frame during the second half of their match-up against 10-seeded Dayton Christian on Thursday, Oct. 22, losing 4-2 and ending their season.
“They used the weak side and crossed it, and there was no one there. It was their speed against ours and they were fast,” said head coach Darren Baldasare. “It probably took me too long to make any adjustments to fix that so that’s my fault.”
North led 1-0 through one period of play, however, after Hailey Thies got the scoring started 18 minutes into the first half, gaining a pass from Megan Hemp and placing the ball past the goalkeeper, who came too far out of the box to make a play. Thies walked the ball into the net after earning the advantage.
Dayton Christian scored the equalizer at the 31-minute mark before scoring once again off a one-timer to an open Warrior at the top of the goalie box three minutes later.
40 seconds after gaining a 2-1 advantage, North put a goal of their own in the next, as Hemp scored off a throw in to knot the game at 2-2.
A minute after that equalizer, Dayton Christian gained the lead once again, gaining a 3-2 advantage with 26 minutes left in the game.
North was unable to gain any headway after that, failing to capitalize on their opportunities.
“They packed the box full and we practice all the time of getting the ball wide and spreading the defense. In the end, we were just getting the ball and going down the middle,” said Baldasare. “When a team packs the box like that, you have to find a different way to score and that’d be from outside. We didn’t make any drops or any crosses to get the ball outside. You can’t put it all on the girls. They played tough. We were in it the whole time. It’s just learning the game and learning different options.”
Their final goal came with 24 seconds remaining after a North defender was unable to clear the ball, leaving a Dayton Christian player with a one-on-one opportunity.
“I thought we played really well. We showed up ready to play,” said Baldasare. “After they scored those three goals, we didn’t give up. We went right back at it and started pressuring them again. I thought we played really well. We just need to learn from our mistakes, see what we did wrong and see what we can change. Next time we play a team that does that to us, we can make that adjustment faster.”
North finishes the season 10-6-1.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.
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