Sep. 26—Each time Glenelg girls soccer and Marriotts Ridge face off, it’s a tightly contested battle. Tuesday’s game was no exception.
The Gladiators and Mustangs played 100 minutes of physical soccer and couldn’t reach a decision, as the teams played to a 1-1 tie.
Marriotts Ridge (1-0-2) dictated possession for much of the first half, keeping the ball in its attacking third. Each time the Gladiators had possession, the Mustangs seemingly forced a turnover to start their offense. That hard work paid dividends in the 12th minute when freshman Kate Riismandel put home a rebound after Gladiators goalie Bella Buscher turned aside an initial shot.
“It makes me really confident in myself knowing I can play against seniors who are three years older than me,” Riismandel said.
While Buscher kept the Gladiators in it, Glenelg (3-0-1) got its first prime chance of the game in the 31st minute. Senior forward Stephanie Lathrop fired a shot just wide of the far post. A few minutes later, the Gladiators earned their first corner of the game, but Mustangs goalie Una Remmel ushered away two shots.
“Coming into our second overtime, I think the girls just really had a rhythm going, plenty of chances on the attacking third and being able to build up from that, trying to execute the best they possibly can,” Marriotts Ridge coach Kudzai Dzimiri said. “These girls are comprised of seniors all the way down to freshmen and they just work so well together. I’m most proud about that.”
After Glenelg found some of its best chances late in the first half, Marriotts Ridge adjusted its formation in the second. The Mustangs began to replicate the same play style which brought them success earlier in the game. However, Glenelg continued to press forward and ultimately found the equalizer in the 72nd minute. Lathrop took a free kick from 25 yards out and while Rummel made the initial save, Hannah Lindberg pushed in the rebound.
“I think they were a little rushed,” Glenelg coach Vincente D’Antuono said. “I think it was nice to see as they transitioned and gained a little ground, picked up some momentum, to be able to hold and come back in the second half to tie it up and eventually tie it up against a good Marriotts Ridge team.”
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Back even once again, Marriotts Ridge generated some of its best opportunities. But Buscher was there once again to keep the game tied and force overtime. The senior prevented the Mustangs from converting a late game-winner, making a sprawling save off an 80th-minute corner. The Mustangs maintained that same pressure in the first overtime. Yet, each time Buscher was there, aggressively coming out of the net to prevent a breakaway opportunity or cut off an attacker’s angle.
“I always come out aggressive; you have to,” Buscher said. “It’s mostly about coming out aggressive every game, but not to the point where I’m going to get a foul in the box. I’m a very aggressive player but making sure it’s not reckless is important.”
Both defenses tightened up in overtime, minimizing chances as the final whistle sounded with the score even.
“Just keep getting at it,” Dzimiri said of his postgame message. “Keep working hard. This is a great group I couldn’t be more blessed to have this group, so I’m looking forward to the future.”
“I think it’s a good growing point,” D’Antuono said. “Something that we can use in trainings to get ready for future games and prepare for the season in its entirety.”