Jefferson handed first loss

October 07, 1998

Jefferson handed first loss

Erin Ryan's OT goal lifts No. 5 Goretti at home


Goretti over JeffersonBy RON SOMERS / Sports Editor

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Only one assist will be recorded in the scorebook on the goal Erin Ryan scored in sudden-death overtime to give No. 5 St. Maria Goretti a 2-1 soccer victory over No. 2 Jefferson on Tuesday at Goretti.

But without a previous assist - from her dad - Ryan might not have been playing, much less scoring the goal that knocked the Cougars (9-1-1, 6-1 Apple Valley League) out of the ranks of the unbeaten.


--cont. from sports page--

First the official assist: Allison Palank sent a high cross from the left wing to the right that Ryan volleyed in from about 25 yards out to end the game seven minutes into the first 10-minute overtime period.

"Fantastic. That was one of our best shots all year,'' said Goretti coach Mike Bowers, who saw his team raise its record to 9-4-1 and 5-1 in the AVL.

Palank's cross was also fantastic, going directly to Ryan's right foot.

"I've been working on my volley kicks,'' Ryan said, noting the ball was about three feet off the ground when she kicked it.

"I looked up and knew it was going in,'' she said.

Now, for the unofficial assist:

"Erin Ryan hurt her back at Williamsport the other day, and she's not even suited up,'' Bowers said before the game.

But riding the bench did not suit Ryan, who's been nursing a sore back for a couple weeks.

"This was a big game for us,'' she said, and she wanted to play.

Enter her father, Steve Ryan, a physical therapist by trade.

"I started doing magnetic therapy,'' he said, explaining that he rubbed magnets over her lower back as she sat on the bench.

By the time the second half got under way, and with the score tied at 1-1, Ryan was loosening up on the sideline. She entered the game nine minutes into the half.

"She said she felt better,'' Bowers said. "And we needed her up top.''

Indeed the Gaels did. Jefferson had taken the lead in the eighth minute when Nicole Brown took a feed from Amy Edwards and scored from a tough angle off the right post.

Goretti got the equalizer a few moments later when sweeper Erin Boyst sent in a long kick from just inside the midfield line, and Erin Costello knocked it into the upper right corner of the net.

But the game remained scoreless through the 40-minute second half.

Goretti needed just a bit more scoring punch, and Bowers was hoping Ryan would provide it.

She did.

Jefferson coach Tammy Miller said illness and injury depleted her team. She said she didn't like the small size or the condition of Goretti's field.

"We play a short passing game, and this field doesn't lend itself to that,'' she said.

"We beat them at home (earlier this season) on a regulation field.''

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