Hurricane Girls Soccer Win Thriller at Spaulding
Goals, Defense, Controversy - This game had it all!
By John Seaver
The Hartford girls soccer team went on the road and beat Spaulding 3-2 in double overtime Saturday afternoon but that's just the end of the story. In a back and forth match, both teams had chances in a scoreless first half with Maddie Koff hitting the crossbar at 11' and Kaylee Williams making a great defensive play chasing down a Spaulding breakaway and blocking the shot at 29'.
The first half also saw several questionable no-calls by the referees. One on a clear trip of Koff at the top of the box and another when Williams was taken out near midfield. Near the end of the half G Morgan White was knocked to the ground from behind on a save, again with no call. Coach Jeff Acker stated his case each time to no avail.
With the second half intensity ratcheted up a notch or two, White made a great save off a corner kick rebound rocket to keep the game scoreless. Then the Canes struck with the first goal of the match at 61' when freshman Abbie Koff scored to make it 1-0. Koff made a sweet move to free herself from the defender and fired a long shot just under the crossbar.
But just 6 minutes later with Spaulding applying pressure on the Hurricane D, the Crimson Tide scored the equalizer when Ella McCarthy got her foot on a shot in the middle of a scrum in front of White and the Canes net.
Hartford took the lead back at 75' when Sarah Jones rocketed a shot to the back of the net off a nice corner kick feed from Maddie Koff to make it 2-1. Then things got interesting. (As if they weren't already!)
With time running out, the Tide were awarded a free kick due to a hand ball outside the Hartford box with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Because the clock does not stop, Spaulding rushed up to the spot and fired a shot. However, the Canes, in an attempt to set up a wall, had not given the Tide player 10 yards and the shot slammed off one of the Hartford players in the wall. By rule a player inside 10 yards that impedes the play receives a yellow card and a re-kick is awarded and each player that receives a yellow card and must be subbed out of the game. The referee stopped the clock and awarded Spaulding with a indirect re-kick with just :08 on the clock and sent 4 Hurricane players off with yellow cards (The 4 players in the wall, not just the player the ball struck).
Then things got weird. (I know, I know)
Once the explanation was given to coach Acker why 4 of his players received yellow cards, he subbed in 4 players and the Hurricanes set up their defense for the indirect kick. But just before the 2nd whistle blew signaling the ball ready for play, a Spaulding player initiated the indirect kick by tapping it to her teammate who promptly scored off the hands of keeper Morgan White to tie the score 2-2. Acker argued the goal should have been disallowed and after a conference between the 2 referees, they admitted the mistake with the whistle but would not overturn the call.
So the teams headed to overtime with the Hurricanes in disbelief and the Crimson Tide with new life. However, the Hartford girls showed some heart and determination to put the disappointment aside and kept playing. After a scoreless first overtime, the Canes got the winner when Belle Leister intercepted a errant goal kick, settled it on her right foot and buried the game winner in the right corner. Coach Acker said of his troops after the game "The girls did a great job of blocking out the distractions and extraneous stuff and bouncing back from the disappointment of the way regulation ended. I think they really grew up today and learned something about what they are made of."
Category 5 Hurricane Player of the game: Abigail (Abbie) Koff. The freshman scored her first career varsity goal to give the Canes the early lead.
Leister (Illness) and teammate Ileana Sirois (injury) were back in the lineup after missing the first two games of the year.
Coach Acker received a yellow card 10 minutes into the 2nd half after arguing a corner kick call.
Hurricanes next game is a rematch with MVL rival Mill River in Clarendon Thursday 9/15 at 4:30