H.S. GIRLS SOCCER: Mount Carmel eliminated in District 4 playoffs
HEPBURNVILLE - Unfair as it is, a recurring theme in sports is how a dominating performance by one team can be erased by one shot.
Mount Carmel found that out the hard way Wednesday night in its District 4 Class A first round game with Hughesville at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex.
The Spartans, the No. 12 seed, beat the Red Tornadoes, the No. 5 seed, 3-2 in overtime. Hughesville will play the winner of the Millville-Mansfield game.
For deep stretches of the game, the Red Tornadoes had their way with the Spartans and played most of the game with possession of the ball.
During that time, Ali Varano scored her 100th and 101st career goals but had to work hard against an almost constant double team for every look she got.
"All year she's been double teamed," Mount Carmel head
coach Rich Miller said. "It was nice to see her get her 100th goal. She's only the second player in 17 years to be able to do that."
Hughesville took advantage of a break away by Kaitlin Peterman after Alexis Avery sent a pass over the Mount Carmel defense in the first six minutes of the game.
Mount Carmel had similar chances when Anna Zeluskey outraced Hughesville defenders but her shots went wide of the goal. The Red Tornadoes didn't have many other opportunities.
Varano scored the hallmark goal in the 27th minute after she gathered the ball at the top of the 18-yard box, dribbled to her right and sent a shot past Hughesville's goalkeeper to tie the game at 1-1.
Just two minutes later, Hughesville's Amy Rabb got into a ball from 40 yards out that snuck over Mount Carmel goalkeeper Sami Zigarski's head.
Mount Carmel poured on the pressure in the second half but only scratched out a total of two shots despite having eight corner kicks.
Varano tied the game with a header off one of those corner kicks by Jenn Bolick in the 48th minute.
The Red Tornadoes didn't get another clear shot after that.
"Our shots just missed," Miller said.
The Red Tornadoes seemed to lag down the stretch and in the last 10 minutes of regulation plus all of overtime, Hughesville continually pressed the action and Varano couldn't shake free for a chance at the winning goal.
Hughesville's Michelle Mostowy ended the game after getting her foot that was bouncing around and won the game with a shot that also went over Zigarski's head.
Miller refuted the notion that fatigue hurt the Red Tornadoes, though.
"I don't think (it hurt)," Miller said. "I tried to keep it what they were used to."
Mount Carmel did lose a key part of its midfield, and the ability to substitute, when freshman Hannah Hornung went down right at halftime with an injury.
Hughesville 0 0 - 00
Mount Carmel 0 0 - 00