Lady Patriots top Central
With their star forward on the bench for the entire game and their starting goalie on the pine for the first half, the R-S Central Lady Hilltoppers suffered a close defeat to Freedom at home Tuesday night, 1-0.
“We had two key plays out with discipline issues and two others out with injuries,” Central head coach Scott Rumfelt said after the game. “Freedom’s a good team and for us to play with them like we did without one-third of our starting lineup is impressive to me. I’m proud of our effort ... we were waiting for something good to happen and it just didn’t come. I’ll take a 1-0 loss.”
Central had the first real scoring opportunity in the 20th minute when a corner kick bounced around the Freedom goal right in front of the goal line but the Hilltoppers couldn’t punch it in as the Lady Patriots cleared the potential danger.
Just three minutes later, Central goalie Allie Proctor nearly made a costly mistake as she slid to stop a shot but the ball rolled through her hands. Luckily, Proctor was able to recover and reach behind her before the ball crossed the goal-line.
Proctor made another impressive play on a Freedom free kick that sailed toward the top of the net until she punched the shot over the crossbar.
Unfortunately for Central, Proctor wasn’t as lucky just a few moments later when Freedom’s Joella Knopf launched a shot from 25 yards out the slipped between Proctor’s and into the net putting Freedom ahead 1-0 in the 35th minute.
Freedom continued to pound the goal until halftime but couldn’t expand on their 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Rumfelt inserted senior goalkeeper Morgan Gilreach back between the pipes.
For the final 40 minutes of the contest, Central couldn’t muster any offense.
Freedom controlled possession throughout the second half a peppered Gilreach in the goal until the final buzzer.
Gilreach managed to keep the deficit at one goal but the Hilltoppers offense was stagnant without forward Emily McLaughlin and failed to tie the game before the final whistle.
“I told [Gilreach] to step up in the second half and she did,” Rumfelt said. “They kept the ball on us the entire second half. If I had to name a player of the game it would have to be her.”
With so many shots on the Hilltopper goal in the second half, it only highlights the anemic Central offense.
“With [McLaughlin] out and the injuries on defense I had to move some girls around,” Rumfelt said. “Emily Wilson was the only offensive ingredient today that we’re used to having up there.”
In the end, the result wasn’t a surprise and Rumfelt expects his team to learn from the defeat.
“I knew we were going to have to do a lot right and get a little lucky to get this win, but I think we got some of our issues resolved,” Rumfelt said. “Now I think we’re thirsty and you’ll see a different team next game ... I hope we proved our point today.”