The United Township girls' soccer team had to hit the emergency button, and they hit it quickly on Tuesday against Alleman.|
Alleman (9-3, 2-3 WB6) made a fierce second-half comeback, but UT (9-5, 3-0 WB6) managed to escape with a 3-2 win.
"We got away with one," UT coach Phil Weaver said. "We went from a dominant position in the first half, to not putting any kind of constructive play together. We allowed the momentum to change completely and we took the foot off the gas petal."
UT led 2-0 for the first 57 minutes. Emily Bollman made it happen for the Pioneers, cutting the lead in half on a goal kick.
"We had a little letdown in the beginning of the first half," Alleman coach Randy Bollman said. "The wind had a little bit of a factor, but I think our girls are still a little intimidated by the bigger schools."
Andria Serra wasn't intimidated when she scored the second Pioneer goal in the 69th minute to knot it up at 2.
"Hopefully they open their eyes a little bit and notice they can play with them," Bollman said. "Secondly, they believed a little bit more and actually got back into the way we've been playing soccer, knocking it around a little bit. It might have confused them (UT) a little bit."
Alleman's sharpness in the second half caught UT off-guard at first, but the Panthers recovered.
Freshman Abbie Graham buried her shot in the back of the net with just under five minutes to play. That put UT up 3-2 with the lead for good.
"It wasn't good enough from our point of view," Weaver said. "We had some tired legs, but we have enough rotation in the squad that is supposed to be carrying us a little better and a little stronger."
The UT rotation could have taken a major hit when senior Katie Johnson went down early in the second half. A calf cramp forced Johnson to sit out 20 minutes in the half. Ironically, those were the minutes Alleman rallied.
"I knew I had to come back," Johnson said. "It's my last year and it's a conference game. We only have five, and it was on the line. That's all that mattered."
Johnson had her foot in all over the UT's scoring in the first half. She assisted on the Panthers' first goal on a corner kick to Alora Esparza. Johnson scored herself in the 18th minute.
"We're sore and worn out, but we've got to pick it up for our next game," Johnson said. "I've had a good season, but I couldn't do it without all of my teammates. All of us together is what finishes the games."
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