Commonwealth Journal

September 11, 2013

Somerset downs Pulaski in OT shootout

By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Ever since the Pulaski County girl's soccer team posted a 9-0 win over arch-rival Somerset last season in the finals of the 47th District Soccer Tournament, the rematch had been circled on Somerset's calender for almost a year.

And on Tuesday night at PC Field, the two clubs squared off for the first time since that district tourney final, and Somerset played like a team on a mission.

Allie Brummett's goal just three minutes into the contest gave the Lady Jumpers a 1-0 advantage, while teammate Hala Ayyash's goal late in the contest brought Somerset back to a 2-2 tie, sending the game into sudden death.

After two scoreless sudden death periods, the game went to a shootout, with Erin Mullins' club doing just enough to gain revenge for last season's district tourney loss, as Somerset outlasted PC in a great contest by a final of 3-2 in a shootout, (3-2).

"A couple of weeks ago, I said that if we could put our effort together and start winning balls at midfield, and putting all the components together that we had been working toward, then teams had better watch out," stated a very happy coach Mullins after her team's hard-fought victory.

"I think tonight we proved we could do it," added the Lady Jumper coach. "We've been working really hard our improving our effort and rising above fatigue late in games. When you're fatigued late in a game, that's when you've got to dig down deep and find that extra effort, and we did that tonight."

After Brummett's score very early that gave her club the quick 1-0 lead, it appeared it would be Soemrset's night, as the Lady Jumpers took that one-goal advantage into the intermission.

However, Pulaski County fought back in the second period of play.

A goal from Kirsten Wilburn  just two and half minutes into the second half knotted things up at 1-1, while her teammate Allie Blevins gave PC its first lead of the night at 2-1, thanks to her score with 27:36 left on the clock.

The Lady Maroons were up on Somerset 2-1, despite being outplayed in the first half by the Lady Jumpers, but even that lead wouldn't hold up on a night when the purple and gold were determined to atone for that nine-goal loss at the end of the 2012 season.

"That goal late they got to tie the score at 2-2 really gave them some new life I thought, and it really deflated us," stated Lady Maroon head coach John Follman, after his club fell to 3-4 with the setback.

"One of the things that I told our team at halftime was the fact that Somerset came out tonight with so much fire, and they were ready for it, and we weren't quite that ready to match that intensity," lamented Follman. "It was tough for us -- no doubt about it."

After the game ended in a 2-2 tie, the contest went to two five minute sudden death periods, with neither team able to put forth a score.

That sent the game into a shootout, with Somerset outscoring PC by a 3-2 margin in those five rounds.

Somerset got scores in the shootout from Alina Asif, Kaycee Rader, and Abby Bastin, while PC's Wilburn and Allison Kerns netted scores for the Lady Maroons.

As the final score indicated, it was a great game by two teams desperately wanting to get a hard-fought victory, but in the end, a very determined and hungry Somerset squad was simply not going to be denied on this particular night, trying to put the memory of last season's district tourney final in the rear view mirror once and for all.

"We reminded the girls about that painful memory toward last week when we started preparing for this game against Pulaski County," Mullins pointed out.

"We wanted to use last year's game as an additional motivator for tonight's game," Mullins added. "I told them if they wanted the outcome tonight to be different, they needed to dig down deep and work hard to not let that happen again. And, to our team's credit, they were able to do that tonight."

As for Follman, the PC coach says that, despite the fact his team was bitterly disappointed with Tuesday's final -- much like Somerset did on Tuesday -- his club will use the game as a motivating factor of its own later in the season.

"I know they (Somerset) were ready for this game and had it marked on their calendar, but we've got an opportunity to adjust, because we will be seeing them again," Follman stated.

Somerset will return to action tonight in Danville, facing the Lady Admirals in the All A Regional Tournament, while PC will return home to take on arch-rival Southwestern in a boy--girl doubleheader.

The boy's game is set to begin at 6 p.m., while the Lady Maroons and Lady Warriors contest will get underway at 8 p.m.