The rematch between the Holmdel and Red Bank Catholic girls soccer teams almost ended with the same result of the first meeting, which was a victory for Holmdel.
However, Red Bank Catholic came back from two deficits, the second time with a goal with 5:47 left in regulation that forced overtime and then double overtime as the Class A Central opponents forged a 2-2 tie on Thursday evening.
“In the overtimes, we were trying to win it. We were not hanging back, we were not saying ‘alright we don’t want to take a loss at this stage,'” Red Bank Catholic coach Frank Lawrence said. “But even at the end, I put in an extra forward. We made two offensive substitutions in the second overtime because we were playing to win this game.”
But Holmdel (10-1-1, 8-0-1) had the advantage twice in the game.
First, Gabriella Bair and Jessica Moskal connected on a goal just 6:25 into the game. Bair crossed the ball in the box to Moskal, who fired away for the 1-0 lead. Moskal got injured in the first half and didn’t play in the second half.
“She couldn’t come back in as she’s had a problem with her plantar fasciitis,” Holmdel coach Jennifer Conroy said. “And she got kicked and it kind of aggravated it and she couldn’t put any pressure on her foot.”
Red Bank Catholic (9-2-1, 8-2-1) rallied to tie the game the first time on Grace Correll’s goal at 34:35 as she cleaned up a rebound for a 1-1 tie.
“A tie is better than a loss. They beat us the first time, 2-1, and we really wanted to win the game,” Lawrence said. “We were not here for ties. You’ll take it at the end because it is better than losing but at the end of the day, we were going out to win the game.”
But Holmdel kept the pressure up in the second half.
The Hornets’ Bair passed the ball to Hannah Lee for the score at 50:24 for a 2-1 advantage. But Red Bank Catholic rallied for the second time with the equalizing goal at 74:13 as Correll found Elizabeth Thoresen behind the Hornets defense for the goal.
“I thought the game could go to two overtimes, Red Bank Catholic battled hard that second half,” Conroy said. “The first half was a slow moving game at first. And in the second half, everyone was flying everywhere and I didn’t think anyone would have any legs left. I think we both had opportunities to score.”
But neither team got one more goal to break the deadlock.
Holmdel’s Bair almost got the game-winner with about 15 seconds left in double overtime as she broke loose from the Red Bank Catholic defense and only had goalie Jacqueline Robinson (four saves) to beat but Robinson took away the angle and made the save sealing the 2-2 tie.
“What I liked is that we got down 1-0 and came back and scored,” Lawrence said. “We got down 2-1 and we came back and scored. That shows a lot of mental toughness on the part of the team that they didn’t want to lose the game.”
Holmdel goalie Helen Burleigh (seven saves) did her part also in keeping the game a tie.