CARBONDALE – Marion fell behind 2-0 in the first 25 minutes, but cut the lead to 2-1 at the half and then scored two goals in the final nine minutes to beat Carbondale, 3-2, to remain undefeated on the season in a rescheduled South Seven Conference girls soccer match on a freezing Tuesday night at the Fralish Soccer Complex.
“Our specialty is technique and possession, but they were so fast and physical that we had to change our game,” said Marion coach Jaime Clark-Verbeck. “So we needed to take more risks and play more aggressive and physical to counter them, and we made that adjustment at halftime. We also had our goalkeeper coming out of the goal to clear that space in front of her to keep us up on offense.”
Marion (8-0-1, 1-0 South Seven) won its eighth game in a row after starting the season with a 2-2 tie while Carbondale had its four-match winning streak snapped to drop to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the conference standings.
“The first thing I said to the girls was I was extremely proud of how well they played tonight, because we played last night and Saturday, so they played three games in four days, and for them to come out and score the first two goals and still creating chances,” said Terrier coach Ortez Davis. “I do feel like fatigue would eventually catch up to them, but I was hoping we would have enough adrenaline to slow down their attack. While I’m not happy with the result, I couldn’t have been more happy with how they performed.”
With Carbondale dominating the first half with Marion being held to just one shot and that came on a penalty kick that cut the lead to 2-1. The momentum began to change with 24 minutes remaining in the game just after the Terriers had missed a wide open net when Marissa Basi took the first shot from the field that Terrier goalkeeper Ella Summerlin made an easy save on.
Marion started to push the play into the Terriers end when Blake Clark scored her team-leading 18th goal of the season on a high shot from outside the goalie box with 8:46 remaining to tie the score.
“Marissa played me a great through ball in between two defenders and it was bouncing,” Clark said. “I hit it one time and it popped right over the goalie’s head. That got everybody fired up.”
Over the next three minutes, the Terriers had two more good scoring chances, but both shots were wide. With 4:45 left, Paige Newlin scored her sixth goal of the season on a similar shot to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game.
“The crowd getting into it got us all fired up,” Newlin said. “I got a great pass from Nicole Szidik to set it up on my left foot, and I’m really strong on my left foot. I had a wide open shot and I took it. I was just trying to get the ball on target and it ended up getting over her. “
Nineteen seconds later, Aisha Ruperto, who had scored the Terriers first goal, was given a red card leaving the Terriers one player down for the remainder of the game.
Despite playing 10 on 11 the Terriers had a chance to tie the score again when Mila Wendt had a run on the left side, but Marion defender Lauryn Kadela was able to pick the ball away from Wendt to save the game.
The first half was played mainly in the Marion end of the field with Carbondale almost scoring from opening kick-off when Faith Golz got a break, but Marion’s sophomore goalkeeper Madison Goodley came out of the net and forced a bad angle shot.
The play continued on Marion’s end of the mid-stripe with Carbondale having many scoring opportunities, but not many actual shots on goal. With 17 minutes left in the first half Ruperto came off the bench to spell Jalesa Watts and 50 seconds later took a long pass from Audrey Meador and got off a good shot that Goodley made the save on, but couldn’t handle the ball allowing Ruperto to get the rebound and bury it in the net for her seventh goal of the season.
Thirty-two seconds later Golz got possession of the ball and passed to Ruperto who took the shot that Goodley stopped, but the ball came back out and Rose Kippenbrock picked up the rebound and one-timed into the net for her eighth goal of the season to give the Terriers a 2-0 lead.
Marion got a break a minute and a half later when the Terriers were called for a penalty inside the goalie box and were awarded a penalty shot. Szidik set up in front of Terrier goalkeeper freshman Ella Summerlin and took a shot on the ground to her left to cut the lead in half with 13:57 remaining in the first half.
Carbondale had five good scoring chances over the next nine minutes, but couldn’t get a clean shot of Goodley to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
Carbondale almost scored again off the kick-off, but the shot was wide and the Terriers had three more good chances over the next 12 minutes, but each time the shot was wide ending with Ruperto taking a pass from Meador to get behind the Marion defense with Goodley out of the net, but her wide open shot sailed wide left.