By Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO September 22, 2000 Ties arent known to satisfy anyone, but the quality of Wednesdays scoreless draw against visiting Saugerties put a bit of a buoyancy in the Monticello girls soccer team.
They needed it. The Lady Panthers had been battered in their previous Orange County League (OCL) Division III outing, 7-1 to Wallkill on Monday. That loss had snapped a string of three straight wins to start the season.
We [fell behind and] let down. [Wallkills] good but we were mentally beaten, said first year Monticello coach Kristy Dean. We werent playing our game.
Against Saugerties the hosts were slow to get untracked, and the visiting Sawyers had the better of play early.
Monticello goalie Erin Shuart came up with a couple of big saves in the opening minutes, redeeming some defensive miscues.
Slowly the Monties began to mount a semblance of an attack, making promising forays into Sawyer territory, only to have Saugerties packing the goal area, stymie them.
Monticello came close in the waning minutes of the opening half: first, a hard Monticello shot was kicked out by a Saugerties defender in the mouth of her net; then, winger Kelly Bennett sent a textbook crossing pass to Ashley Morse, well-positioned in front of the goal, but at the last second a Saugerties defender managed to deflect it.
The Panthers continued their positional dominance in the second half, and lifted hopes several times.
Center halfback Meghan Garry sent a ball just wide of the net from outside the area.
Jenna Diaco, on the wing, found herself momentarily free in the goal area and made a nice pass into the middle but no white shirt was there to take advantage of it.
Minutes later Diaco nearly beat Saugerties goalie Jennifer Greer to the ball when Greer bobbled a direct kick by Samantha Tucker.
Garry tested Greer again with a floater which seemed ready to tuck itself under the crossbar. The Sawyer keeper dropped the ball, but snatched it moments ahead of Diaco.
Two 10-minute overtime periods then failed to decide the issue.
Its better than a loss, Dean reasoned. Weve come a long way since the beginning of the season [but] we need to fine tune our game. There are a couple of ball skills we need to work on.
The reorganization of the OCL put the Panthers in a division with traditional power Cornwall, as well as Goshen, New Paltz, Saugerties, and Wallkill.
We have a challenging season, Dean said. Our goal is to go to sectionals, and I think we can do it.
Shuart was credited with 13 saves in the Eldred net, while Greer stopped 20.