Eaton, Shawnee tie 2-2.

EATON — The Eaton Lady Eagles soccer team kicked off the 2017 regular season playing a special Friday evening match on Aug. 18. Eaton traveled to Edgewood to take on the Lady Cougars in a boys/girls varsity double-header.

In the first full week of the season, the Lady Eagles hosted Preble Shawnee for a second non-divisional game, before starting SWBL Southwestern Division play this week. Both contests saw teams come from behind and tie the match late in the game. And, in both cases, the scores would stay tied as Eaton opened the season 0-0-2.

After a slow start against Edgewood, Eaton fought back from two goals down to come away with a 4-4 tie. The effort bodes well for the squad early in the season as several key freshmen contributed. In addition, one of the team’s expected leaders, junior Emily Dungan, played a role in three of the team’s four goals.

The Lady Eagles were shut out in the first half and found themselves down 2-0 at halftime. The squad picked up the pace in the second half, outscoring Edgewood 4-2 to come away with the tie.

“(We) finally woke up and started holding balls in the midfield to allow attackers to get forward,” coach Michael Bacher explained.

Tyler Pittman got the team’s offense started finding the net off an assist from Dungan. The Eaton junior then added two goals of her own – the first off of a cross from freshman Kendal Combs. Pittman then returned the favor from Dungan’s earlier assist for the junior’s second goal.

The freshman to freshman combo of Madison Fugate and Kylee Kidwell connected for the team’s final goal. The game ended in a tie, 4-4.

The freshman trio of Combs, Fugate and Kidwell should provide key support to the team’s upperclassman, according to Bacher. While Dungan leads a group of returning players that includes three seniors, Kate Bulach, Chelsea Cruze and Taylor Brooks. Pitman, a junior, returns from last season as well.

Other key players include junior goalie Ashlynn Black, along with juniors Anna Black and Isabelle Trader and sophomore Gabrielle Petry.

Eaton returned to action on Thursday, Aug. 24, at home against Preble Shawnee and played to a 2-2 tie. The Lady Eagles overcame an early 1-0 deficit and held a 2-1 lead in the final 15 minutes of play. The Lady Arrows came back to score a goal and create a 2-2 tie.

Shawnee scored first on a goal by Alyssa Davidson about 15 minutes into the match. Eaton’s Anna Black evened the scored later in the first half.

The second half was spent mostly in the Eagles defensive half of the field, but Eaton took advantage of one of its few scoring opportunities as Dungan scored with 13:15 remaining in the contest. The Arrows tied the game just over two minutes later on a goal by Bailey Downard.

“We had a game plan to put numbers behind the ball and look to counter,” coach Bacher explained. “The girls executed beautifully.”

The first Eaton goal came when Bulach found Dungan open as Anna Black streaked to the goal. Dungan flicked a pass to Black who scored.

“The game was back and forth. They are tough to contain.” Bacher added. “Ashlyn Black (goalie) made some huge saves.”

Eaton took the lead in the second half as a Pitman corner kick was headed in by Dungan for a goal.

Dungan’s impact continues to be key to the team’s success as she has been involved in some way with five of Eaton’s six goals.

Eaton will be on the road this week to open the SWBL Southwestern Division. They were scheduled to play at Franklin on Tuesday, Aug. 29, and then travel to Bellbrook on Thursday.

Shawnee, which beat Newton 6-0 on Saturday, Aug. 26, was scheduled to play at Middletown Madison on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and host Milton-Union on Thursday. The Arrows will close out the week with a trip to Lehman Catholic on Saturday.

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Eaton’s Emily Dungan (3) battles with Preble Shawnee’s Jenna Lovely (6) for possession of the ball during their match up on Thursday, Aug. 24. The teams played to a 2-2 draw.’s Emily Dungan (3) battles with Preble Shawnee’s Jenna Lovely (6) for possession of the ball during their match up on Thursday, Aug. 24. The teams played to a 2-2 draw.

By Deron Newman

For The Register-Herald