But Red’s Jessica Zurcher of Firelands used her head, and she cemented a 5-4 victory for her team on a cool, bright Saturday afternoon at Midview’s Ed Adelsberg Stadium.
The occasion was the annual girls Senior All-Star Game sponsored by the Lorain County Soccer Coaches Association.
A highlight of the boys-girls doubleheader was the presentation of $500 scholarships to two girls and two boys players. The scholarships are funded in part by all-star game receipts.
In a nod to that old jibe at materialism, “keeping up with the Joneses,” Claire and Celeste (no relation) kept up with each other. Each scored a three-goal hat trick, Claire’s coming in a frenetic six-plus minute stretch late in the first half.
Morgan Wade of North Ridgeville assisted on the second goal and Kailey McClain of Avon Lake on the third as Red carried a 4-3 lead into halftime.
Celeste Jones scored her first two goals barely two minutes apart midway through the first half with assists by Elyria teammate Emily Benko and Brookside’s Megan O’Connor. The second gave Blue a 2-1 lead.
O’Connor, with an assist by Celeste Jones, scored in the 25th minute to give Blue a 3-1 lead. But Claire Jones’ remarkable three-goal outburst turned the game around in time for the break.
Zurcher, who set a Firelands career record with 108 goals, gave Red a 1-0 lead when she netted a header following a corner kick in the fourth minute. She scored Red’s fifth goal — the eventual winner — with another header in the 53rd minute. Amherst’s Emily Varouh assisted.
“I have a very low vertical and my teammates always make fun of me because I can’t head the ball very well,” Zurcher said. “So it just kind of happened today. Things kind of went my way. The balls were where they were supposed to be. I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Celeste Jones created the final score with her third goal in the 70th minute. Kayla Hirschfelder of Midview assisted.
“It’s definitely a great feeling to know that I can score three goals against the top players in the county,” Jones said. “I had a lot of help from Megan O’Connor. We played (club soccer, Erie Futbol Club) with each other for a while, so we know each other pretty well.”
Girls scholarships were presented to Zurcher and Elyria’s Monica Backs. Tom Wesley of Amherst and Logan Priddy of Keystone received the boys scholarships. The coaches association selects recipients based on soccer ability and potential, academic record and other considerations.
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red 5, Blue 4
GOALS: (B) Celeste Jones 3 (15th, 17th, 70th minutes), Megan O’Connor (25th minute). (R) Claire Jones 3 (30th, 33rd, 37th minutes), Jessica Zurcher 2 (4th, 54th minutes).
ASSISTS: (B) Natalie Benko, O’Connor, Celeste Jones, Kayla Hirschfelder. (R) Megan Wade, Kailey McClain, Emily Varouh.
SHOTS: Blue 12, Red 13.
SHOTS ON FRAME: Blue 8, Red 10.
SAVES: (B) Kayla Wysacki 1, Rachel Terschak 4.
(R) Samantha Wiles 1, Allison Courtney 3.
GOAL KICKS: Blue 8, Red 9.
CORNER KICKS: Blue 4, Red 2.
FOULS: Blue 2, Red 2.
HALFTIME: Red, 4-3.