By Rob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE After the Chester Lady Hambletonians and homestanding Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs battled to a scoreless tie in the first half of Wednesday’s non-league soccer match at the SW Jeffersonville-Youngsville campus, one got the feeling that just one goal would be scored in the contest.
That was indeed the case.
And much to the delight of the SW players, coaches and fans, it was a Lady Bulldog who scored the only goal of the afternoon.
With 32:08 remaining in the second half, SW junior forward Katrina Graby found the back of the net.
Graby kicked a high, floating shot at the Chester goal. The Lady Hambletonians’ goalie, Jessica Lise, jumped up and extended her arms above her head in an attempt to block the shot. But the ball flew over Lise’s hands, curled under the crossbar and settled into the far corner of the net.
Lady Bulldogs’ junior midfielder Sarah Shirdon assisted on the goal.
For the rest of the contest, both defenses clamped down and neither team could score.
Of course, both offenses kept trying their best to put the ball in the net.
With 13:50 left, SW’s Lindsey Bauer dribbled the ball along the edge of the goal box for a couple of seconds before kicking the ball at the Lady Hambletonians’ goal cage. However, Lise was able to easily stop the shot.
Cristie Hipsman had the best chance to score the tying goal for Chester (0-3). With 4:50 remaining, she gained control of the ball and sent a low shot toward the Lady Bulldogs’ goal. But SW goalie Rachel Dickey quickly grabbed the ball with both hands.
Lise had 10 saves in the match, while Dickey recorded six saves.
SW (1-2) registered 18 shots on goal and five corner kicks in the contest. Chester fired 15 shots and took two corner kicks.
“It was an excellent match,” Chester Coach Kevin MacEntee said. “Obviously, I wanted us to win. But of all the losses I’ve had in my coaching career, this one was the most exciting. It went back and forth and both teams played very hard.”
MacEntee praised the Lady Bulldogs for “playing a great match.
“Every time we play Sullivan West it’s a tough match, but it’s always clean,” he said.
SW Coach Mike Ellmauer was happy to get the first victory of the season.
“We had a couple of close losses, now we have had a close win,” he said. “We’re progressing, but we have a few things to work on.”
Ellmauer noted that Dickey “did a nice job today.”
He said the Lady Bulldogs have improved since they started practicing back in August.
“Now that school has started, we’re getting into a good routine,” Ellmauer commented.
“We had some issues and distractions, but we’ve put them behind us and are focused on continuing to improve throughout the season.”