by Corbin Ensminger firstname.lastname@example.org
March 26, 2014
LAURINBURG — Eighty minutes was not enough time for either Scotland or Hoke County to score a goal, so 20 more minutes were added to the scoreboard Wednesday. But still, nobody scored as the two teams tied 0-0.
The scoreless draw was a fitting end to the evenly-matched game, although Scotland was able to create the most chances, especially in the added time, and had a penalty shot saved near the end of regulation.
The game looked like it had reached its decisive moment when the referee awarded Scotland a penalty kick for a handball in the box with eight minutes to play. However, Jessie Kee’s shot was saved by goalie Abigail Reyna. Kee followed up on the rebound but put it just inches by the outside of the left post, leading several players and fans to think it actually went in the goal.
Reyna did not even start the game in goal, however. Hoke coach Colin McDavid, who had coached Scotland before joining the Bucks in the fall, pulled the starting keeper Haley Johnson out at halftime. He moved Johnson out into the field to help give the Bucks fresh legs, leaving the net-minding to Reyna.
“We took a pounding from Scotland but we persevered. This was a good result for us as far as going into the games with so many injuries. We can’t ask for anything better from the team,” McDavid said.
Jordan Lewis had two of the best chances for the Scots. With three minutes remaining in the first of two 10-minute extra time periods, Lewis found herself open on the outside edge of the box. She launched a shot towards goal but it glanced off of the crossbar. Later in the second half of extra time, Lewis dribbled her way through the Hoke defense and tried to put another shot on the goalkeeper, but had the ball taken away by the last defender.
Scotland coach Danny Gallagher said that there were plenty of positives to take away from the game despite neither team picking up the win.
“There were a lot of opportunities right around the box where we just couldn’t get that final touch in. The girls were moving constantly and we had high energy across the board,” Gallagher said. “The defense was organized and the midfield worked the ball around better than we have been doing, so there were a lot of positives, and it all started with high pressure.”
Assistant coach Curties Holland said the team’s conditioning also played a role in letting them dominate possession like they did as the minutes piled up.
“They’re starting to understand that conditioning is a big part of soccer and I’m quite proud of them,” Holland said.