By Charlie Warnimont
Sentinel Sports Editor
KALIDA - Kalida and Continental have dominated winning titles in the Putnam County League for girls soccer.
So it was no surprise that the two teams were playing for another PCL title Tuesday night when they squared off in Kalida. And like most battles in the PCL this was a defensive battle as the two squads played to a 1-1 tie after both teams managed a goal in the final 10 plus minutes of the contest.
With the draw, the PCL title goes to the Wildcats as they finish league play at 3-0-1, 12-0-2 overall, and the Pirates are 2-0-2, 10-2-2 overall. This is the fifth straight PCL title for Kalida.
"This was a typical PCL soccer match, especially when the title is on the line" Kalida coach David Kehres said. "We didn't expect it any other way. We had some opportunities in the first half and we didn't finish and the second half we only had a couple of opportunities. When Continental scored I have to give the girls a lot of credit, they dug deep and got the equalizer to tie it."
As the two teams battled back and forth much of the night, the Wildcats came close to scoring with 17 minutes left when Makenna Richey put a direct kick on goal from 30 yards out. The shot bounced off the hands of Pirate goalie Emma Recker, then off the crossbar before being knocked out of harms way. With 11:20 left the Pirates had a chance to take the lead when Paige Ordway had a good look at the goal only to be turned away by Kalida keeper Sarah Verhoff.
With 10:03 left to play, the Pirates dented the back of the net when McKenna Scott knocked a shot past Verhoff after getting a cross from Ordway on the right side of the box.
With the way the Pirate defense was playing it appeared the goal would stand up. But with the ball taking some funny bounces as the evening dew settled on the grass, Kalida tied the contest when Makenna Vorst's low line drive slipped off the hands of Recker and into the net with 6:32 left. Neither team could sneak another goal into the net.
"It was one heck of a game," Kehres said. "With that ball being a little wet, it was going to come down to goal keeping. Both goalies played fantastic. In any PCL game its going to come to who digs deep. Continental did in getting that first goal and then we did by fighting back. It was a great game by both teams."
"I was happy with how well our girls played tonight," Continental coach Toby Bidlack said. "I thought we played we a good 80 minutes tonight. We had our chances to put the thing away and we just missed out. Congratulations to Kalida for winning the PCL title. After we scored I was confident we could hold the lead. I'm not sure what happened on their goal, but I was confident we could hold on after scoring. Maybe there was a little too much time on the clock, but we had done it
Recker and Verhoff both had five saves in goal for their respective teams.