By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR October 5, 2007 It’s a good feeling to walk off the soccer field with a win.
It’s especially satisfying if you’re the home team, you tie it up in the last minute of the game and retain your undefeated divisional record by winning the match in overtime.
For the Lady Wildcats of Livingston Manor, that’s exactly what happened during Monday afternoon’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI match, as they defeated the Eldred Lady Yellowjackets, 6-4, in a game that saw the visitors hold a 2-1 lead at the half.
Eldred (1-8-1, 1-2-1 Division VI) scored first at 4:40 in the opening half off the foot of Christina Watts with an assist from Sara Watts.
Manor’s Christine Babich struck back at 7:43, but the Lady Yellowjackets took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Meg Hazel off an assist from Watts.
Livingston Manor (6-4, 4-0 Division VI) scored the first two goals of the second half. Marissa Diescher scored at 5:49 with an assist from Valentina Babich to tie the score. Then at 13:27, Megan Ellison fired one into the net to give the Lady Wildcats a 3-2 advantage.
Eldred then surged back with a couple of unanswered goals. Sam Alessandra scored off an assist from Watts at 25:45. Then with two minutes left in regulation play, Watts scored unassisted.
Manor tied it up 4-4 at 38:54 off the foot of Jessie Simmons with an assist from Elizabeth Perry.
As the final seconds ticked away, the Lady Wildcats’ bench was a study in the raw emotions of the moment.
Players held their breath as the home team booters attacked the opposition’s goal in a do-or-die, last ditch, all-or-nothing attempt to score.
And when Simmons’ shot went into the net, they erupted in cheers.
Their goal of remaining undefeated in divisional competition was still alive.
In the first mandatory 10- minute overtime period, the Lady Wildcats iced the match with two goals. Diescher scored thanks to an assist by Simmons. Then at the 5:49 mark, Perry scored with an assist from Valentina Babich.
The second OT period was scoreless, and at the final whistle, the home team cheering echoed off the hills surrounding Livingston Manor.
The match stats were as follows: shots on goal (Manor 32, Eldred 14), keeper saves (Manor’s Angela Trotti four, Eldred’s Rachel Smith 16), corner kicks (Manor seven, Eldred 0).
“I think the girls played very hard, they didn’t quit,” Eldred Coach Jolene Porter said.
“We’ve been coming along a little at a time, we just need to keep putting it together,” she added. “Our defense hurt us a little bit, but overall my group just didn’t want to quit.”
Livingston Manor Coach Shirlee Davis said her team took to the field of play with one objective: win the match and stay undefeated in Division VI competition as they eye the upcoming sectionals.
“We started out a little slow at the beginning, but at the half we talked about some of the things we needed to fix, like our passing game,” Davis said.
“It was evident that by the second half that we were putting our passing game together,” Davis said. “My girls are looking for an undefeated season [in the division], so it meant a lot to them to win this game.”