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Knights have answers for Catoctin

October 15, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - No. 2 Middletown did most of the knocking and all of the answering against No. 5 Catoctin in Monocacy Valley Athletic League girls soccer action Monday night.

The Knights, who outshot the Cougars 29-9, overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 on their way to a 3-2 overtime win.

"It was a heck of a game, lived up to its billing," said Middletown coach John Miller, whose squad remains the only unbeaten team in the league at 6-0-1 (8-2-1 overall), while Catoctin falls to 4-2 (6-4 overall). "They're strong and they play with a lot of intensity. We had some lapses where we let them get the better of us, but in the end we stepped up to the calling."

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In the end - 1 minute, 39 seconds into overtime to be exact - Knights junior midfielder Lainey Nichols shot a hard grounder on goal from just inside the 18. What first appeared to be Cougars keeper Kaitlyn Byrne's 14th save of the night turned into the game-winning score, as it slipped through her grasp and just across the goal line.

"They're a good team and we battled hard. It's just unlucky the way it ended," said Catoctin coach Sue Herring. "Mistakes happen all over the field. It's just if you're a keeper they stand out. She made great saves all night."

It took several great saves from Byrne to keep rapid-firing Middletown off the board early.

"First 10 minutes of the game," Miller said, "it could have been 3 or 4 to nothing."

Instead, it was 0-0 - until Catoctin forward Lindsey Gladhill beat keeper Jenny Wheeler (three saves) to a through-ball on the right side and punched it into the back of the net with 12:55 left in the first half.

Trista Haupt then answered for Middletown, drilling a shot past Byrne from 10 yards out to tie it, 1-1, 5 1/2 minutes later.

Catoctin went back on top again just over 13 minutes into the second half on a goal by Ashley Long, who headed in a shot deflection off Byrne.

"We're not a nicey, nicey passing team. Our strength is to get in there and battle," said Herring. "By far, it was our best performance of the year. We went and scored twice and took two leads."

Yet, again, Middletown found an answer with 18:16 left in regulation. After struggling with their finishes inside the box all night, Knights midfielder Angie Harvey eased some of the frustration, booting in a cross pass from Brenda Shakely from 10 yards out to tie it at 2-2.

"We stepped up," said Miller. "We knew what was on the line, and what this game meant."

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