An exciting game between Hutchinson and Valley Center entertained the crowd, with the teams battling for 100 minutes before settling for a 2-2 tie April 17 at Valley Center. Now 5-1-1, this was the Hornets’ fourth overtime game of the season.
“It was a well-played soccer game,” Valley coach Jeff Burger said. “… I though all of our kids played hard.”
The Salthawks (4-2-1) had the Hornets back on their heels for the first several minutes. In the seventh minute, Valley’s Sammy Boese pounded the ball from the right side, only to watch it ricochet off the hands of keeper Kaylie Armstrong toward the other side of the field.
Mikayla Vega saw the errant ball and rushed up after it. She quickly got control and slipped a shot behind Armstrong before she could recover.
Hutch evened the game 19 minutes later when Jordan Downing broke down the Hornets’ defense and scored. Tied at halftime, the Salthawks went up 2-1 when Madison Brady scored from the middle of the field on a one-touch off a cross in the 46th minute.
Valley knotted the game in the 73rd minute. In clearing the ball, a Hutch defender popped it into the air. Abbie Lawrence ran up to the ball and floated it over the defense, over the goalie’s head and into the back of the net.
“… Abbie’s shot was gorgeous,” Burger said. “I’ve been talking to her and Courtney (Yochum) all year that from their position, those are the kind of goals their going to get. The quick rebound goals where they catch them asleep.”
The Hornets had a great opportunity to win in regulation when Boese turned her defender around and got loose on a breakaway. Armstrong came out to contest, which forced Boese to alter her shot and push it wide of the goal.
“If she (Boese) would have seen the goalie coming out and shot instantly, it would have gone any place in the net,” Burger said. “She took that extra touch and the goalie made a good save.”
According to their coach, the Hornets did not have much chemistry in the first half but did in the second. They passed the ball better and worked together better after the intermission.
Burger’s main concern was the physicality of the game and its aftermath. Yochum banged her head on the ground and may have a mild concussion. Vega, who leads the Hornets with five goals, landed awkwardly and severely twisted her ankle.
“I thought maybe it was a little too physical, but it was called consistently,” he said. “I hate to see so many kids being carried off the field. We have a league game on Monday and we may be without two or three starters.”