Abington girls soccer rallies for victory over Upper Dublin.
Casey Touey can’t actually teleport, but it’s easy to think otherwise when she’s on a soccer pitch.
The Abington sophomore with blistering pace seems to materialize out of thin air chasing down and controlling a ball, but found herself quieted in the first half against Upper Dublin on Wednesday night, as did the rest of her Galloping Ghost teammates. All a player like Touey needs is a chance however, and she made hers count in the second half.
Touey scored two goals and assisted another to complement a brace from Cam Lexow as Abington topped Upper Dublin 4-3 in a wild SOL American matchup under the lights at Cardinal Stadium. “In the first half when I was getting the ball, I wasn’t really aware of where they were,” Touey said. “I picked up on their patterns and in the second half, I basically used that to find out how to turn around them without losing the ball and make a pass.”
Upper Dublin did a nice job of keeping the game contained in the middle of the field in the first half, which seems like an odd thing to want when there’s a player like Abington’s Lexow roaming there. But, the Cardinals did well to limit Lexow’s touches and as a result, the ball didn’t find its way out to the wide channels very often.
Cardinals senior Lexie Moss had the early assignment of keeping Lexow occupied and the midfielder gave the Cardinals more
than that when she headed in the game’s first goal off a corner kick with 23:30 left in the first half. The hardworking Moss, who UD coach John Topper labeled an engine of the team, had to depart with an injury a bit later and did not return to the match.
After being held in check in the first half despite a PK goal from Lexow, the Ghosts were determined to get the ball where they could be most dangerous.
“We knew if we let them get in behind, they have some quick and talented players and we let the ball land in our half too many times,” Topper said. “That gave them opportunities to turn and run at us and we know what a good player Touey is. We told the girls don’t get beat by what you know but we let her some space to run at us and she punished us for it.”
Tina Haig’s free kick goal had supplied UD’s 2-1 lead at the half and LExow, as a co-captain felt compelled to rally her teammates at the break.
“They beat us last year (in a nonleague game) so I wanted to get everyone our team up so we could fight harder,” Lexow said. “Upper Dublin in the past has always fought hard no matter what the score was, so it was in my heart to get the team believing they could win.”
The game was all but decided in a five-minute span in the second half. Upper Dublin drew a penalty kick with 25 minutes left, and while the effort was well-hit, Abington senior keeper Ashley Hopper made a tremendous save on the penalty and a follow-up shot.
Hopper has been splitting time in goal with Olivia Oliphant and Ghosts coach Rick Tompkins said both keepers are pushing each other daily.
“It was a game-saver, she’s had two PKs on her this year and saved them both,” Tompkins said. “They split time and challenge each other. They’ve been alternating, we’ve played four games and each has started two.”
Lexow said the PK save was the turning point and the Ghosts turned into an equalizer two minutes later when Touey made one of those “where did she come from” runs down the left flank and put away the chance.
“In the first half I noticed my runs were more up and down than side to side and once I started making those sideways runs, it not only opened up for me but our other players,” Touey said. “Our formation is that we want to play out wide so we took advantage of the space they gave us.”
Lexow staked the Ghosts to a 3-2 lead on a quality combination with Touey. Lexow played a long ball to the sophomore, followed the play and received the ball back, then powered through a tackle and put the chance away with 21:51 left in the game
The best time to strike back is right after a goal and UD did just that as the Cardinals turned a quick opportunity into a goal when Laura Pendleton buried a top shelf chance for the 3-3 equalizer a minute later.
“I was proud of our girls’ effort, we didn’t come flat or anything, but we could have executed better and had better decision-making,” Topper said. “When we lost Lexie, we lost a a little bit in the midfield and never completely regained dominance in that area of the field and that’s where they were able to spring some of their attacks from in the second half.”
Touey scored Abington’s third goal in 3:45 of game time with 20:13 left when she turned on the jets again down the touchline, cut in to her right and kept possession through a tackle then launched an effort from outside the box that pinged the bar and went in.
“This year, our team is resilient and we won’t give up,” Touey said. “We saw that tonight, we were down and came back. We were all wanting to score that goal so we kept going harder and harder every time we got a run in.”
Upper Dublin’s Priya Kaneria advance the ball during game against Abington.
Abington’s Casey Touey looks to pass near Upper Dublin’s Sascha Keitz.
Abington’s Kaliey Horton waits for a waits as Upper Dublin’s Kaitlyn Brown defends.
Abington’s Caroline Hughes dribble up field near Upper Dublin’s Julia Eustace.