Wednesday’s 1-1 draw between Hurricane and Dixie might be seen as mutually beneficial for both teams.
But, Dixie’s fans let out a groan of frustration at the final whistle and Hurricane’s players and coaches high-fived each other, and were quite relaxed after the game.
Such is the product of both teams’ expectations and recent success, or lack thereof.
“To us it’s a win because when you’re a team that isn’t successful, you’ve got to build the foundation from somewhere, and a tie against a good opponent like Dixie who has a great coach who wins championships is a great result for us,” Hurricane coach Luke Stevens said.
The last time the Flyers didn’t beat Hurricane was 2012 when the two sides drew. Hurricane conversely hasn’t beaten Dixie since 2010, and that’s the Tigers only win over the Flyers since 2004.
The Dixie bench was silent after the game and some players were looking at the ground. Flyers head coach Burt Myers was looking for answers as to why Dixie wasn’t in top form.
“We weren’t really focused on the game, everybody, and I’m not going to say we weren’t up for Hurricane because Hurricane played well,” Myers said. “Kudos to them, but I don’t think we played our ‘A’ game.”
Madelyn Hatch gave the Tigers the 1-0 lead late in the first half and they held onto it going into halftime.
One minute and 14 seconds into the second half, Dixie’s Megan Preece leveled the score at 1-1 when she one-timed a shot from outside the box that went over the keeper’s head and in.
Chances for either side came few and far between afterward. In the 72nd minute, Woodbury had the best chance when her shot was tipped onto the crossbar by the Tigers’ keeper after a neat passing exchange.
In extra time, Hurricane’s Abby Hall rifled a shot from 26 yards out that went straight into Dixie keeper Mashaun Estridge’s hands.
The Tigers haven’t won a region game in almost two years, but Stevens says Wednesday’s draw backs up the team’s intention of making the playoffs this year.
“I feel like we have a puncher’s chance, for sure,” he said.
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