MANCHESTER — Manchester Valley and Westminster have established a habit of meeting more than once during the fall season.
Tuesday’s Carroll County Athletic League girls soccer matchup between the two Class 3A East squads provided a good example of just how competitive these two teams have been — their tilt resulted in a 0-0 tie after 100 minutes of soccer.
Manchester Valley senior goalie Sydney Resau made 15 saves for the Mavericks (2-2-2, 0-1-1 CCAL). Jeanna Whetzel and Sydney Hetrick each made five saves apiece for the Owls (3-3-1, 0-0-1).
“I think both sides were super intense,” Owls coach Dannielle Midkiff said. “I think this is personal for a lot of these girls because a lot of them played club ball together growing up and they’re just out here to show their very best. It was definitely intense but I think it was fair, I thought the refs called a good game and both teams worked incredibly hard from the first whistle to the last whistle.”
The Mavericks peppered the Owls with numerous shots in the first half. Kenzie D’Anthony, a senior midfielder, sent a swift shot in that sailed just over the top of the goal post about seven minutes into the start of the game.
D’Anthony got another close chance less than three minutes later, but her shot was deflected by a Westminster defender.
Man Valley junior Morgan Kresslein almost scored about a minute later when her shot went over the top of Whetzel’s head, but Whetzel spun around to catch the ball before it crossed the goal line.
Westminster senior defender Maddison Mills sent a low shot to the goal parallel from the goal line but Reseu dived to catch the ball before a second Owls player could get a second touch on it.
MV junior Amy Bell challenged Hetrick, but the Owls’ sophomore keeper grasped the ball to stop the advantage.
The teams led a balanced attack in the second half and both defensive units came up big in crucial moments. Westminster took a free kick with 13:19 to go, but Resau saved the shot and Man Valley’s defense stuffed a Westminster free kick out of bounds with 11:11 left in regulation.
“Both teams battled to the end," said MV coach Hogan Allen. “Very well played by both sides. Proud of my girls and their effort this evening.”
Man Valley sophomore midfielder Taylor Dadds received a yellow card late in the first overtime period and the Owls took a free kick, but the ball hit off a MV defender’s head to close out the frame.
Resau was pressured by two Westminster forwards about halfway through the second overtime and used her whole body to stop the ball. D’Anthony sent another close shot to the top right corner of the goal with 3:40 left to go, but the ball was shot just outside of the goal.
“Our focus today was really to play an entire game of soccer,” Midkiff said. “We had yet to do that this season. We either played a great first half and a terrible second half or a terrible first half ... we really focused on playing a full game of soccer and constantly moving and keeping that intensity up and I think they did a really good job of that.”