The game had all the elements of a Halloween scary movie. There were Freddy Krueuger and Michael Myers like scary moments, suspense, surprises, victims, heroes and survivors. After all, it was October 31st and the last time the Lady Pioneers soccer team visited The Christian Academy (TCA) they suffered and terrifying defeat. They say, revenge is a dish best served cold and with a biting wind, it certainly was cold and revenge was on Dock’s mind. There were other motivating factors: 1) this was a district semi-final game 2) the Dock boys team just qualified for the district championship game and the girls wanted to join them in their own championship game.
So, with motivations at an all time high, one would think Dock would come out firing on all cylinders. But one would be wrong. The game quickly settled into street kick ball contest with neither team keeping much possession of the ball. In fact, there were probably as many throw ins as there were passes, which means the ball spent a lot of time out of play. TCA Grace Gormley single handily won the game in the last meeting of these two teams scoring twice. Fifteen minutes into the game, with loose marking, Gormley found space and the ball between Docks lines and with all the skill of a New York taxi driver weaved between three Dock defenders to score TCA’s first goal. Gormley was TCA’s single most threat and the only player Dock had to shut down. It was too early though to stick a fork into Dock, they were done yet. One goal was not going to defeat them this time.
Twelve minutes later, Dock evened the score off a corner kick. Sara Kennel picked the best moment to score her first goal of the season. Second half play was a duplication of the first half. Except a new hero and a new way of scoring would emerge for Dock. Enter the corner kick and junior Jackie Halteman. Halteman is not what you call a proliferate scorer. She is known better for her defensive talents. And for Dock, the corner kick, has had disappointing results all season. So when Halteman scored the go a head goal off a McKenzie Swartley corner kick, twenty-seven minutes into the half, you could imagine the great surprise and jubilation from her teammates and coaches. But wait… Halteman and the corner kick were not done. The two would meet again in the final seconds of the game.
With ten minutes left in the game Dock was fighting to hold the lead. Brooke Bozarth was given the assignment of center back and to coordinate Dock’s rear guard efforts which she did with tremendous skill. Peyton Scialanca, Abby Nice and McKenzie Swartley doubled their efforts to press the attack against TCA’s steady defense. Mikayla Frederick’s midfield play broke up several desperate TCA counter attacks. McKenzie Gordon was given he unenviable task of stopping Gormley. Gormley would not be denied though. TCA was awarded a free kick with just six minutes left in the game. Keeper Audrey Schweizerhof did her best to handle a very difficult shot (looking into the sun). Gormley alluded Gordon’s defensive efforts (not an easy task) and pushed home the rebound to tie the game, 2-2.
You could sense that neither team wanted to take this game to over time (sudden death). There was great tension in the air and the collective blood pressure rising for both coaching staffs. Thirty seconds left in regulation Dock earns another corner kick. Wait, what’s this? Why is Dock keeper Schweizerhof racing out of her goal to get in on the corner kick. Certainly not planned by the coaches, but it did cause added havoc in front of TCA’s goal. Swartley’s pin point corner kick landed in the traffic in front of TCA’s goal. Through all that chaos, the ball comes to rest on on the foot of one Jackie Halteman, who knew right where to place the ball – passed the outstretched arms of TCA keeper Dayla Fuselli for the game winning goal! Three corner kicks, three goals for Dock, unbelievable!
A Michael Jackson “thriller” of an ending.
First the boys thrilling win Monday night. Then the girls equally thrilling win Tuesday night. I don’t know if my blood pressure can take too much more of this. Thank goodness for the day to recover. But it is fun though!
An all Dock District 1A final, as it should be. Games will be played at Souderton High School. Girls kick off at 5:00 pm. Boys, 7:00 pm. Let’s fill the stadium with Dock supporters!
SOG: DMA = 10; TCA = 8
Saves: Fuselli (TCA) = 5, Schweizerhof (DMA) = 6