St. Mary's girls rally to tie Hidden Valley

St. Mary's and Hidden Valley played two contrasting halves in a 2-2 tie in girls nonconference soccer Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Mustangs led 2-0 at the break.

"This was the second match in a row we got two goals down," said St. Mary's coach Dave Potter. "We saw a whole new team in the second half. We played with a little more intensity and worked harder."

The Crusaders (5-0-1) cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 48th minute when Amber Moore headed in a corner kick by Anna Thorndike.

In the 67th minute, Mustang goalkeeper Morgan Hansen came off her line and was called for a foul when she knocked down Sarah Bennion in the box. Thorndike converted the penalty kick for the equalizer.

The Mustangs took the lead in the sixth minute on a breakaway by Emily Murphy, then Cedar Wilkening upped the margin to 2-0 on a goal at the 15th minute.

Potter credited central defender McKenna Barnum with closing down open spaces, winning balls and restarting the Crusaders' attack.

St. Mary's also received strong play in the midfield from Ashley Hilton, Rachel Raniele and Abby Coughlin.

"It was a 50-50 game," said Potter. ":They played well in the first half and we played well in the second half."

PHOENIX 2, EAGLE POINT 1 — At Talent, Amanda Skaff booted in the winning goal with 10 minutes remaining for Phoenix at Hagler-James Park.

Skaff was able to tap it into the net on a setup from Lily Wilson.

Wilson knotted the score 1-all for the Pirates (2-0-1) in the 36th minute on a goal from 13 yards off a give-and-go with Crystal Solis.

Opening the scoring for the Eagles (0-6) was Madi Nahss, who powered in a direct kick from 35 yards in the 24th minute.

ST. MARY'S 2, HIDDEN VALLEY 1 — At Murphy, Hidden Valley got an early goal on its only shot of the first half but Class 3A/2A/1A top-ranked St. Mary's came back to defeat the 4A foe at District Field.

Both St. Mary's (4-0) and Hidden Valley lost in the state finals in their respective classes last season.

The Mustangs scored in the third minute when Robin Klimczak was on the receiving end of a direct kick and finished from about 10 yards away.

The Crusaders (4-0) knotted the score in the 30th minute on Harrison Leep's left-footed shot off a fastbreak from 12 yards out.

St. Mary's got the game winner from Adrian Becerra, who put away a rebound off a shot by Adlar Thomas 15 minutes into the second half.

St. Mary's junior goalie Derek Reynolds wasn't tested a lot but did make a big save on a breakaway in the second half to preserve the lead.

Midfielder Reid Arne helped the Crusaders control tempo and distributed the ball effectively and senior Noah Kotler, who has been battling an ankle injury, performed well on the defensive end.

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