Indian Creek can't weather Beth Tfiloh in C Conference final

japters@capgaznews.com

— Indian Creek's hopes for a third straight MIAA C Conference title were marked by a lengthy weather-related delay, a delayed timeout, and ultimately, a heartbreaking, 9-8, loss to Beth Tfiloh at Johns Hopkins University's Homewood Field Thursday evening.

With the score knotted at 8-8 following a rebounded shot by Warriors midfielder Scott Tepper, the contest was halted with 3 minutes, 31 seconds left for nearly 1½ hours because of Thursday's severe thunderstorms. When play resumed, Tepper struck again, this time on a running, left-handed shot to give Beth Tfiloh the lead with 2:12 left in the match.

"When you sit for an hour, it's hard to stay focused but the guys were loose and we were ready to come out and play," Eagles coach Jason Werner said. "We knew (such a delay was possible) and they handled it well. I couldn't ask anything else from them."

Indian Creek secured the ensuing faceoff and fired off a couple of shots, including what appeared to be the game-tying attempt, but Werner had requested timeout and it came just prior to the shot attempt.

"We saw something they were doing when we popped a guy off the crease and we got it one time," Werner said of a previous scoring play. "I called a timeout to run the same play. Unfortunately, they gave it to me a little late. If they wouldn't have given me a timeout – we popped one. We wanted to make sure we had our six guys where we wanted them to be to just give us the best chance to score."

Werner's play call eventually resulted in Brian Lord (two goals) receiving a pass as he rolled to the middle of the field, but a couple of furious checks jarred the ball loose. The Warriors gained control of the groundball and ran the clock down to 6.9 seconds before stepping out of bounds. Indian Creek was unable to get a shot off in the closing seconds.

Despite being outshot 25-8 and losing all 10 faceoffs in the first half, the Eagles trailed by just a goal at the half following a goal by Sam Homick with 3.6 seconds left in the second quarter.

Homick rolled the ball in from the top of the attack. Lord scored twice in the first half for the Eagles, including the first score of the match off an assist from Homick.

Ryan Ross, on mostly one-on-one moves through the defense, tossed in a trio of goals for the Warriors for the 5-4 halftime lead. The contest was tied 6-6 after three quarters and the Eagles took an 8-7 lead with 7:09 left in the match on a goal by Ben Sturgell off a pass from Sammy Carter (three assists).

Sturgell flashed just above the crease, received the pass and shot past Beth Tfiloh goalkeeper Jacob Troy for the lead that ended less than four minutes later on Tepper's score.

Tepper took a point-blank shot that was initially stopped by Indian Creek goalkeeper Ben Robertson, but Tepper was able to regain the rebound and then slip a deflected shot into the goal to forge the tie right before the delay began.

GOALS: BT – S. Tepper 5, Ross 3, D. Monroe; IC - Lord 2, Shepard 2, Carter, Homick, Jenkins, Sturgell. ASSISTS: BT - J. Tepper; IC - Jenkins 3, Carter 3, Homick. SHOTS: BT - 47; IC - 22. SAVES: BT – Troy 7. IC – Robertson 11. GROUNDBALLS: BT - 33; IC - 25. FACEOFFS: BT - 14; IC - 4.

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