Either there’s a slant to the northern side of the field, or it took the Delaware Hayes girls soccer team a half to get its legs and the Buckeye Valley team ran low on gas.
It was probably the latter.
Either way, the result was the same. The Barons and Pacers played to a 1-1 tie Saturday afternoon at BV in Delaware.
“I think they took over in the second half because we were fatigued,” BV coach Lucy Schmitt said. “We were running 13 and of that 13, I had three injuries. So, that’s why I think they got in on us in the second half.”
The Barons controlled for much of the first half, turning a hand-ball penalty into a Hannah Cowan goal on a penalty kick for a 1-0 advantage with 35:57 remaining.
“Hannah knew that it was on her (to take the shot),” Schmitt said. “I didn’t even have to tell her. That’s pressure right there – it’s 0-0. There’s no one else I trust to take that shot and she buried it … and that’s a great keeper they got.”
Hayes took over in the second half. Marissa Lovett and Alyssa Griner forced Baron goalkeeper Cami Crawford to make a couple of saves in the first 10 minutes.
“They were the aggressor – that’s for sure,” Hayes coach Bradd Smiley said. “They were getting to everything in the first half. In the second half I think we did a better job of sealing that up.”
Crawford had nine saves for the Barons (0-0-1).
It wasn’t until Maddy Green played a ball to the middle that Griner collected, dribbled, and sent a shot to the goalie’s left to knot up the score with 22:53 remaining.
“We finally got one (that) broke free,” Smiley said. “We work on the attack day in and day out and we finally got that one to go for us. Good placement of the ball, a good play in by Maddy and a good finish by Griner.”
BV had a couple of opportunities in the final minute and change, including a Faith Durbin shot off the right post.
“The last 20 minutes were a complete gut-check,” Schmitt said. “They worked their butts off to save that tie because they were exhausted.”
Abby Weller finished with 15 saves in goal for the Pacers (0-0-1).
“We’re getting to know each other back there,” Smiley said. “A lot of the time, we had three freshmen back there. Hats off to (BV) – they did a good job of attacking us. They were attacking us with six and spread us out. It was a good first look for us.”
The tie snaps a four-game winning streak for Hayes in a series that has been decided by a goal in each of the previous five games.
Next up, the Pacers travel to Pickerington Central in non-league action Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. while BV is off until it opens MOAC-play at home against River Valley Aug. 27 at 5 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.