By Ron Nunnari
CLAYTON — Sidney had Northmont on the ropes Wednesday night, holding a 2-1 lead with time waning in the opening match of the season for both schools.
With 1:22 left, sophomore midfielder Aubree Conti lofted a high kick from the right sideline from 20 yards out. The slow arc of a kick lazily sailed over the outstretched hands of Sidney goalkeeper Kaylee Morgan to knot the score at two, a score that stood as time expired.
The 2-2 tie proved frustrating for Sidney coach Kevin Veroneau, who knew his team’s skills outmatched the Lady Bolts.
“Definitely didn’t go the way we expected or wanted it, so we are a little disappointed in the result,” Veroneau said. “We had enough opportunities that we should have been able to score more goals, and the goals that we gave up were just basic, technical mistakes in the defensive unit that created the goal opportunities for them.”
Northmont took a 1-0 lead on a goal by forward Scarlett Knaier eight minutes and 30 seconds into the match. Sidney answered with a goal by Larkyn Vordemark with 24:43 remaining in the first half.
Sidney kept unrelenting pressure on the Northmont goal throughout the second half, taking 11 shots on 14 runs on goal. Northmont took five shots on eight runs on goal.
The Lady Yellow Jackets took a 2-1 lead with 21:19 remaining on a goal by Kenzi Koester. With 1:22 left the Lady Bolts tied it on Conti’s goal.
“You hate to see a result like that when you know that, had we made better decisions, and had we performed better technically, we wouldn’t have given up the goals,” Veroneau added. “So, it’s a good result for them. They definitely played hard. They were aggressive and physical, which is what they needed to be to try and match our technical ability.”
For Northmont, the tie was a moral victory.
“They are a great team. We knew what kind of pressure they were going to bring, but our message tonight was to play as a team and have a lot of firsts, which was to score first which we were able to do,” said Northmont coach Kinsey Mangen. “To come out with a tie tonight was a good start to our season. We learned a lot in game one and we are ready to move forward.”
Reach Ron Nunnari at [email protected].