Dragons rally for tough road win at Bradford; Blue Devils blank Knights
BRADFORD, Pa. – An injury-ravaged Warren girls soccer team traveled to Bradford Monday knowing it would be a tough road challenge.
The Dragons rose to that challenge and rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit to come away with a 4-2 Region 6 win over the Owls. Sawyer Mohney had a pair of second half goals and Jessica Susz had a goal and an assist for Warren.
Warren (10-3-1 overall, 9-2 Region 6), already without MJ Fadale due to injury, lost Brooklynn Neureiter to an injury just three minutes into the match.
Bradford’s Reagan Johnson opened the scoring to give the Owls (10-5, 7-5) a 1-0 advantage.
The Dragons wasted little time responding
Just four minutes later, Susz stole the ball and fired a long shot past the keeper to knot the match at 1-1.
“Jess really played hard tonight,” Warren coach Jeremy Bickling said. “It was a physical battle all night and Jess helped set the tone for the team.”
Johnson got a breakaway with less than 15 minutes to play in the half. Warren keeper Alyssa Anderson came out to challenge and appeared to have stolen the ball away. Officials whistled the play dead and awarded Bradford a penalty kick. Johnson took the kick and buried it to give the Owls a 2-1 lead.
“High school officials have probably one of the toughest jobs,” Bickling said. “They can never please the players, the coaches or the fans. I didn’t agree with the call. I definitely didn’t agree with their explanation, but at that point the goal isn’t coming off of the score board.”
Mohney and Kyra Wotorson had chances in the closing moments of the half, but couldn’t convert and the score remained 2-1 at halftime.
The second half rally took some time to get started. More than 20 minutes had elapsed before Georgie Bickling sent a pass to Mohney. Mohney converted from long distance to tie the match at 2-2.
That seemed to open the floodgates for the Dragons.
Just moments later, Susz sent a similar pass to Wotorson who beat the Bradford keeper to give Warren its first lead of the match, 3-2.
With just under seven minutes to go, Bradford was called for a handball in the box. Mohney took the penalty kick and put the finishing touches on the comeback victory with her second goal of the half.
Warren played keep away for the remainder of the half to seal the win.
“To say we’re proud of our team doesn’t even begin to touch what we think of their effort tonight,” Bickling said. “It was a full team commitment. Our seniors led. Our starters all put in huge minutes and for more than half the game we had four freshmen on the field.
“Imagine being on the road for three weeks with only one home game,” he continued. “Then imagine losing your top scorer for the season and two senior midfielders for multiple games. We went 6-1-1 and locked up our path through the playoffs despite all of those setbacks. These girls are resilient, tough and playing some inspired soccer.”
The Dragons return home Wednesday when they will host Meadville in the annual Pink Out game.
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CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS 4, EISENHOWER 0
CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS, Pa. – Cambridge Spring held serve on its home pitch Monday and picked up a big Region 3 girls soccer win over Eisenhower.
The Blue Devils kept pace with Iroquois for the region lead with a 4-0 shutout of the Knights. Cambridge Springs scored three goals in the first half, and connected on a penalty kick in the second half for the final margin.
Iroquois and Cambridge Springs are set to meet Wednesday at Iroquois in what essentially becomes a region title match. Both teams are 4-2 in the region. The Blue Devils won the first match, 2-1, in Cambridge Springs.
Eisenhower will try to rebound after losing consecutive matches for the first time this season when the Lady Knights welcome Seneca Wednesday. The match is set to start at 4 p.m.