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Filed under Girls Soccer, Showcase

Huntingdon Spoils Girls Soccer’s Senior Night

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The ideal ending to an athletic career is like that of a fairy tale. After overcoming adversity, the protagonists ride off into the sunset after vanquishing their enemies. Last Thursday, the Tyrone girls soccer team played Huntingdon on senior night, and while it was a storybook ending that they desired, soccer doesn’t always play out that way. After taking a 2-0 lead in the first half, the girls fell to the Bearcats 5-4.

Before the game, Seniors Audrey Bowser and Riean Minnich were honored after four years of dedication to the team. Their emotions were bittersweet.

“I am battling between being excited for my future and how much I am going to miss playing with this team,” said Minnich.

“Riean and Audrey are both leaders on the team that will be missed greatly,” said coach Tiffany Smith.

I am battling between being excited for my future and how much I am going to miss playing with this team”

— Senior Reian Minnich

When it came time to start the match, it was clear that Tyrone wasn’t going to allow Huntingdon to build an insurmountable lead as they had the previous time the teams met. In fact, it was Tyrone that began the scoring, leading 2-0 in the 10 minutes after Bowser and Sophomore forward Riley D’Angelo scored.

Huntingdon would score after a controversial call in the penalty box. Junior defender Chloe Makdad made a tackle in the box to stop a breakaway, but the referee blew her whistle, awarding Huntingdon a penalty kick which they converted.

“It was disappointing that Huntingdon was able to begin a comeback with a call like that on an ambiguous play, but that shouldn’t have affected us later in the game like it did,” said Makdad, “While I disagree with the call, we shouldn’t have allowed it to become a game-changer.”

After the foul, Tyrone’s back line was unsure of itself, hesitating on tackles in fear of getting called. Huntingdon exploited this and brought their first half tally to 3 with two additional goals. Tyrone would find the back of the net again as well, and the teams headed into the half tied at 3-3.

About 15 minutes into the second half, the Bearcats had built up a 5-3 lead. Tyrone was able to hold them there while desperately trying to tie the game. With about 5 minutes remaining, Bowser converted and Tyrone trailed only by 1 goal. With limited time, Tyrone bombarded Huntingdon’s defense and had multiple chances to even the score in the frantic final minutes.

The stage was set for a fairy tale ending with all of the components that make a story great. The underdog team down two goals in the second on Senior Night with a last minute comeback. Unfortunately, the ending that was penned was not what Tyrone was hoping for.

With only 40 seconds left, Bowser went down with a minor injury, and after the break, the referees changed their call from a Tyrone corner kick to a Huntingdon goal kick. The Bearcats were able to keep possession of the ball for enough time that when Tyrone was able to get it back, it was too late, and the final score remained 5-4 in favor of Huntingdon.

“It was a disappointing loss because we didn’t show up to play in the first half and made huge strides in the second half to come back, but it was too little too late,” said Smith.

The Lady Eagles’ next game is tonight, Wednesday, at Bellefonte, where they hope to avenge a 6-0 loss from earlier in the season.

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Huntingdon Spoils Girls Soccer’s Senior Night