When a soccer match goes more than 78 minutes without a goal, you can be certain it consisted of offenses butting heads with defenses and goalkeepers earning their keep.
Wednesday evening was no exception. Unfortunately, Amherst couldn’t hold off Avon Lake for the final two minutes and a scoreless tie, sinking 2-0.
The first half started with the Comets pressed to their end of the field.
The Shoregals were effective in breaking drives before the Comets could fully develop them. However, Amherst made more shots and shots on goal than Avon Lake in the period.
Bailee Pihlblad made the first shot just under two minutes into the game. Ally Perkins, who was double- and occasionally triple-teamed all night, made a shot seven minutes later.
Amherst’s first shot on goal was by Emery Hicks near the midpoint of the first half.
The second occurred with 11 minutes remaining off the foot of Perkins. Also shooting for the Comets were Marissa Ramirez, Lauren Kachure, and Taylor Moore as Shoregal Elise Duvall made her only save of the evening.
Sophomore goalkeeper Michele Kissane made her first save in the period when she caught a kick by Avon Lake’s Allie Heschel.
The second half began more evenly.
The Comets defense seemed to have figured out a way to contain the Shoregals, holding them to just four shots in the first half of the period.
The ominous feature was three of those four shots were on goal, two by Lindsay Butler and the other by Olivia Siko, who ended the match with three shots on goal.
In the final quarter of the game, Avon Lake managed to increase the pressure on the Comets. They racked up seven more shots with a couple on goal.
Kissane did a simply amazing job of anticipating the Shoregal drives and either blocking or deflecting every attempt at the net. She had six saves in the second half as the anchor for the defense.
It seemed a scoreless match was in the offering. With less than two minutes remaining, Shoregal Kelly Spitz drove the ball home after a shot blocked by Kissane fell near her.
The goal did not take the spirit out of the Lady Comets as they tried to even the score in the remaining seconds. The game was put to rest when a penalty kick at 1:15 remaining by Amber Achladis ended any real hope.
The loss dropped the Comets girls to 3-4 and 2-2 in the conference.
Carl Sullenberger can be reached at email@example.com.
Photos by Carl Sullenberger | Amherst News-Times Comet Paige Kramer and Shoregal Lindsay Butler battle for control on Wednesday. This struggle was typical of the entire match, in which Avon Lake finally scored twice in the final two minutes of the game for a 2-0 Southwestern Conference win over Amherst.