It looked as if the teams were heading for a tie in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls soccer opener, but Liberty Center pushed a goal across with over five minutes remaining to earn a 2-1 win at Swanton Thursday.
“Yes, it was a very tough loss. We didn’t start off the way we would of liked it, but came out a little stronger in the second half. We had to do a couple changes since one of our defenders was not able to come to the game. The girls did pretty good to adjusting, we just couldn’t get our passes going,” said Swanton Coach Kendra Gustafson.
The Tigers went ahead for good with 5:37 left when Maddie Brogan finished a misplay by the Bulldog defense, firing the ball past goalkeeper Frankie Nelson.
Before that, the Bulldogs had tied it (1-1) with a 3-on-1 breakaway that ended with a Megan Haselman goal at the 24:13 mark of the second half.
Haselman made her presence felt on more than one occasion after half.
At the 28:33 mark, Alaina Pelland’s well-orchestrated pass upfield got to Haselman streaking towards the goal, but the shot banged off the crossbar and the Liberty Center keeper was then able to recover.
Haselman also had an attempt to put Swanton ahead after a pass from Jayden Hendricks with 7:07 remaining, and that shot came up short as it skirted to the left of the goal.
LC made it 1-0 just under 19 minutes into the first half on a crossing pass from Alyssa Giesige that Aubree Hollenbaugh finished.
The Dogs looked to tie it with 15:03 left in the half by way of a Hendricks breakaway; however, her shot sailed over the net. Swanton’s Riley Bellner put one on net from about 20 yards out with 13:25 left, but the shot was saved by the keeper.
Despite the loss for Swanton, many lessons were learned.
“I think they will take away from this experience that they have to come out to play both halves and not just one,” said Gustafson. “Also, at the end of the day, it’s who shows up to play and wants it the most and we were just unfortunate showing up the second half.”
Swanton got their first win of the season Saturday, winning at Northwood 3-0. Now 1-1 on the season, they are at Archbold on Tuesday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.