Blazers tie No. 3 'Dogs

September 26, 2002|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Just about the time Martinsburg girls soccer coach Curtis Keesecker started feeling secure, Lauren Ebersole started having other ideas.

The Bulldogs (No. 3 Herald-Mail poll) were riding a two-goal advantage late into the game, and seemed to have the Apple Valley League victory well in hand.

But Ebersole had other ideas, rallying the Blazers with the game-tying goal and an assist in the final six minutes in a 3-3 tie that the Blazers (4-2-1) considered a moral victory.

"This really shows the heart of this team," said Clear Spring coach Jeff Semler.

"We had to step up and play a quality team in Martinsburg. I told the girls that to get to the next level we have to beat a quality team, and they did that tonight."


After playing to a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes, the Bulldogs (5-2-1) took full advantage of a brief Clear Spring defensive letdown by scoring a pair of goals within five minutes to establish what appeared to be comfortable 3-1 lead.

Martinsburg was consistently beating the Blazers to the ball at the offensive end, while limiting the Clear Spring offense to just five shots on goal through the first 73 minutes.

But the momentum changed quickly. Ebersole fired a corner kick to Tonya Blair, who headed the ball past a stunned Bulldogs goalie Lauren Hundley to trim the lead to 3-2.

"(We) gave up," said Keesecker. (We) quit marking. That's all I can say. I don't know what happened."

Still, Martinsburg held a one-goal advantage as the clock ticked down to less than two minutes remaining, as the Blazers frantically tried to get the ball into play as soon as possible.

That included Ebersole, who placed the ball on a free kick about 35 yards from the goal on the right sideline, and quickly dropped back several paces before sending an arcing shot over Hundley's head to tie the score.

"That second goal got us back in the game," said Ebersole. "We were able to pick up some momentum, then we got a chance to tie it with a free kick and I was able to put it in."

Amy Mills was instrumental in keeping the Blazers in the game, saving 13 of 16 Martinsburg shots on goal.

"We didn't have nearly enough goals," said Keesecker, "not for the way we were playing. Our shooting percentage stinks."

JV: Clear Spring, 6-0.

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