EATON TWP. — It was Jamie Herbert’s first goal of the season and the one Elyria Catholic needed.
It came early in the second half as Midview’s girls seemed on the verge of digging out of a one-goal deficit, and swung the momentum in the Panthers’ favor. The result was EC’s 3-0 victory in a renewal of an old and hard-fought soccer rivalry.
The Panthers led 1-0 at halftime on the first of junior Michelle Clark’s two goals. But the Middies came out strong after the break and basically took over midfield.
Then, in the 52nd minute, Herbert took a pass from Stephanie Recko, moved in from the right flank and fired a shot into the left corner over Middies keeper Lesley Booher.
It turned everything around.
“I got a pass from Recko on the outside and I just got a touch and shot it in,” Herbert said. “There was a (Midview) player close behind me, but it was a pretty open shot. I just made a diagonal run to the outside.”
Herbert’s goal made it a 2-0 game and, as a practical matter, wiped out the good work the Middies had accomplished in the first eight minutes of the second half. They applied heavy pressure in that stretch and just missed scoring on three occasions.
In the 41st minute, Midview junior Katherine Gjesdahl dribbled in alone on Panthers keeper Megan Miehls and fired a shot into the net. But the Middies were called for a foul on the play and the goal was waved off.
Then freshman Ann Turner got a nice pass ahead to Gjesdahl in the 43rd minute, but Gjesdahl’s shot went just wide of the net. And just a minute later, junior Hillary Sturgeon dribbled in from the right side and fired a shot that forced Miehls to make one of her seven saves.
Herbert’s goal changed the whole complexion. EC regained control of the midfield, and eight minutes later, Clark took a nifty crossing pass from Mimi Rothgery. Clark moved in from the right side and scored as Booher came off her line in an effort to break up the play.
Midview had two more chances, one when Gjesdahl moved in from the right side and fired a shot just over the Panthers’ crossbar in the 74th minute. Then in the 78th minute, Turner left-footed a shot at the Panthers net, but Miehls made her seventh and final save of the night.
“Our defense did a great job and I was very proud of them,” said Miehls, who posted her second shutout of the season. “They kept the ball out of the back for the most part. I was glad they got it cleared out pretty quickly.”
Elyria Catholic improved to 4-5 with a performance that delighted coach David Leigh.
“I knew we were in for a battle, because we’re close rivals,” Leigh said. ”We always look forward to the Midview game. Most of these kids know each other and it’s fun.”
And while Middies coach Josh Moore would have preferred a different result, he was not totally unhappy.
“We had two tough games in a row coming into tonight and it was going to be a test of character to see if the girls could bounce back,” said Moore, whose Middies dropped to 3-6. “And I think they did that tonight, even though we didn’t end up on the right side of the score.”
EC 3, Midview 0
Goals: (EC) Michelle Clark 2, Jamie Herbert.
Assists: (EC) Ashley Novak, Stephanie Recko, Mimi Rothgery.
Shots: Elyria Catholic 27, Midview 9.
Shots on target: Elyria Catholic 6, Midview 6.
Saves: (EC) Megan Miehls 7, (M) Lesley Booher 6.
Corner kicks: Elyria Catholic 3, Midview 2.
Goal kicks: Elyria Catholic 5, Midview 9.
Offside: Elyria Catholic 5, Midview 2.
Hand balls: Midview 2.
Other infractions: Elyria Catholic 10, Midview 7.
Cards: (EC) Rothgery yellow, 77th minute.
Half: Elyria Catholic, 1-0.