By Ted Waddell
ROSCOE So much for “Happy Birthday.”
Despite a colorful banner tacked to home team timekeeper’s box which read “Happy Birthday Mr. Smith” in honor of Roscoe Coach Brian Smith’s special day, the visiting Eldred Lady Yellowjackets posted a 2-1 win over the Roscoe Lady Blue Devils on Thursday afternoon in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI soccer match.
But like birthdays, the next soccer game is always just around the corner.
With the win, Eldred improved its record to 3-6 overall and 2-1 in Div. VI. Roscoe fell to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in Div. VI.
The Lady Blue Devils got off to a good start. At 26:19 of the first half, Sydney Portz scored on a header off a corner kick.
“It was amazing,” said Portz, a 14-year-old freshman. “Soccer is my favorite sport, and I like it because it challenges you.”
At 12:26, Eldred’s Jill Harris made it a 1-1 game by netting a goal on an assist from Meaghan Hazen.
“I was so shocked; it was my second time playing up at forward, and when I scored my jaw just dropped,” said Harris, a 17-year-old senior who was a member of the Eldred football team last fall.
Early in the second half, Alexis Pierce iced the game but not a birthday cake for Smith with an unassisted goal at 32:59.
“I was really happy because it was the first goal of the season,” said Pierce, a 15-year-old sophomore. “In all the other games I got aggravated because I kept missing, [but] now I’m proud of myself.”
Smith said that the Lady Blue Devils are hurting “numbers wise.”
Roscoe had only three substitutes on the bench for Thursday’s match. In addition, a couple of starters were out due to injuries and another was sidelined after suffering a sprained ankle during the match.
“We don’t have the depth to roll with the punches,” Smith said. “I’m taping six ankles before each game that’s half the team.
“The girls played their hearts out today,” he added. “Eldred came in really wanting to win.”
Eldred Coach Kelly Robertson summed up the game in a few words.
“It was an unbelievable effort on the part of both teams,” she said. “Our girls communicated really well, their movement up the field was very, very impressive, and the give-and-go’s helped us score.”
Eldred outshot Roscoe 40 to 10 and held an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Roscoe goalkeeper Kiera Browne made 25 saves, while Eldred goalkeeper Diana Schombs had five saves.