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HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County took an early two-goal lead over Marion but had to settle for a draw after a 3-3 deadlock in a Southwest District girls’ match Monday at Tommy Thompson Field.
Each team scored in the first two minutes of the second half as Carroll County (2-6-1 district) took a 3-2 lead into the waning minutes, but an iffy call in the Cavalier box resulted in a tying penalty kick for the Scarlet Hurricane.
The Cavalier back line of Suzanne Leonard, Megan Roper and Alex Snow played brilliantly all day, repeatedly clearing away charges and scoring opportunities by the Scarlet Hurricane. One such stop was a sliding tackle by Leonard, who poked the ball from in front of Olivia Williams inside the 18 late in regulation. Williams’ momentum carried her into Leonard and then to the ground, drawing a foul in the process.
Michelle Vernon took the shot for Marion and Cavalier goalkeeper Hope Bowers guessed correctly on her leap, but Vernon’s shot powered through Bowers’ grasp and into the net, knotting the match at 3-3 in the 64th minute.
Neither team managed much of a threat the rest of regulation or in either five-minute overtime period.
“We had a couple of weird things happen out there,” Cavalier coach Wayne Edmonds said. “It was real wet, real sloppy out there so it was tough on both teams. But I thought it was a questionable call on the PK. To me, it looked like all ball. [Suzanne] was going down, she got ball and the girl tripped over her. But I’m not the guy in the yellow. But we played really good and the girls have really stepped up the latter part of the season.”
Summer Rigney put the Cavaliers on the board 11 minutes in, taking a throw-in and beating the Marion defense for a one-on-one shot that trickled through the grasp of Hurricane keeper Abbie Dishner. Rigney followed her shot and popped in the rebound for the only goal of the first 36 minutes.
A pair of own-goals in the final four minutes of the first half sent the teams to the break with Carroll leading 2-1. Lindsay Brumfield’s shot off a corner kick bounded off Dishner, off a Marion defender and into the net in the 36th minute, but the scene repeated itself on the other end of the field two minutes later when Callie Mellinger’s putback attempt was blocked by Bowers and into a Carroll defender before rolling across the line for Marion’s first score of the afternoon.
Both teams connected in the 42nd minute of play, starting with Marion. Mellinger’s drop pass out of the 18 box to Holly Richardson caught Bowers without a clear view of the ball and Richardson sent her shot just inside the left post to knot the match at 2-2.
Less than a minute had passed when the Cavaliers’ Morgan Snow powered a high heater into the upper left corner, once again putting Carroll out front.
Richardson was taken down by Roper on a shot attempt inside the 18 with 22 minutes to play, but the tackle was ruled a clean one, unlike the one six minutes later that would lead to the tying PK for Marion.
“Oh my gosh, if they don’t get some kid of district honors, maybe regional, there’s no justice in this world,” Edmonds said of Roper and Leonard. “They are so good back there. Alex [Snow] doesn’t get enough credit because she plays hard back there and made some big plays today. They interchange so easily. One will take the ball and the other will step into the spot and take that position, they weave better than anybody I know. We’ve got one heck of a defense.”
Marion was outshot 8-7 in the first half before picking up the pressure in the second half, coming away with a 23-14 advantage for the match.
Marion 3, Carroll County 3
Scoring summary: CC – Rigney 11’ (unassisted); CC – Brumfield 35’ (unassisted); Mar – Mellinger 38’ (unassisted); Mar – Richardson 42’ (Mellinger); CC – M.Snow 42’ (unassisted); Mar – Vernon 64’ (unassisted).
Shots (on goal) 23(15) 14(9)
Fouls 1 6
Corner kicks 2 1
Offsides 1 11
Yellow cards 0 0
Red cards 0 0
Saves 12 6