Colonel’s Annie Harris nets golden goal
WORTON — Before Monday’s girls’ soccer game between Colonel Richardson and Kent County High, players stood united by taking a lap around the field with America flags to honor the victims from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
What followed was a spirited game that was extended by Colonel senior Annie Harris, who scored the tying goal with 2 minutes left in regulation, then netted the golden goal 5 minutes into the extra session to cap a 2-1 Colonels’ victory.
The Colonels (1-1 overall, 1-1 North Bayside) spent much of the last 15 minutes of the second half attacking in the Trojans’ zone, but Kent County goalkeeper Paulina Panas kept Colonel scoreless. Panas received help from her defenders, including Madison Kendall, who stopped drives and blocked several shots.
But with two minutes left, Colonel’s relentless attack found space, and Harris delivered with a left-footer into the back of the net for the equalizer.
In overtime, the Trojans went on the attack, but twice Colonel goalkeeper Hannah Holmes made saves, and a Jamie Heavlow shot went wide.
The Colonels countered with a strong drive up the sideline by senior Kaylie Moore. She found Harris, who chipped the ball into the right corner. Harris centered the ball to Maddy Christopher. Kent County tried to clear but the ball went out of bounds.
A strong throw by Moore went to Harris who dropped a pass back to Moore. Her strong drive was blocked, but Harris got control of the rebound, and lofted a shot into the top left corner of the goal for the winner.
“Annie is a great leader out on the field,” Colonel head coach Jeremy Roop said. “She wants it. If you watch her on the field, she is always moving. Annie found some open space and got the two big goals.
“The girls never gave up,” Roop added. “We were able to keep the defense constantly moving with our dribbles and passes. They got chasing us, which created open lanes for quality scoring opportunities. It worked. We played hard and never gave up.”
Kent County assistant Ed Stack provided the flags for the pre-game opening lap by both teams.
“I thought it was something great we could do to remember 9/11,” Trojan head coach Racheal Gugasian said. “We were happy to do this with Colonel Richardson. We are competitors, but we are also united.”
Roop echoed Gugasian’s thoughts.
“It is a special moment to see the two teams come together for the lap,” he said. “It was a great idea for the Kent County coaching staff, and it was great to show our support.”
Kent County took 1-0 lead on a goal by Cecilia Llames in the 26th minute. The Colonels countered minutes later on a breakaway by Harris, but Kendall foiled the drive and cleared the ball.
In the 36th minute, the Trojans looked to add to their lead, but a Llames shot sailed wide. Just before intermission, Christopher feed Harris who fired a shot that hit the side of the post and out of play.
“It was a tough battle, but is was a good game,” Gugasian said. “Each side worked really hard. We are working to always get better.
“I think we are doing a good job at getting better each practice, each game,” she added. “I’m happy with the effort, and how the team continues to get better.”
At the start of the second half, the Colonels got three quality chances. The first came when Moore passed to Mackenzie Covey, who fed Sarah Gillespie. She corralled the pass but her shot went above the crossbar.
Minutes later, Moore drove down the right side, and dished to Harris who crossed over to her right foot and fire a shot wide. Covey had a good chance on the next possession, but was denied by Panas.
When the Trojans began their counterattack, the Colonel defenders Natalie Southard, Reagan Tull, Maleaha Webb and Reagan Mangum halted the drives by gaining possession and moving the ball to the outside.
“The defense did a great job at getting the ball to the outside,” Roop said. “It allowed us to begin to work the ball up the field.”
The Colonels are slated to host Mardela at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, while Kent County travels to Snow Hill for a 5:30 p.m. game.
Colonel Richardson’s Annie Harris fires a shot on net against Kent County Monday, Sept. 11. Harris scored late to tie the game, and won the game with a goal in overtime for the Colonels.
Colonel Richardson’s Natalie Southard clears the ball in a victory over Kent County Monday, Sept. 11.
Colonel Richardson’s Annie Harris gets hugs teammates Kaylie Moore, Sarah Gillespie, Mackenzie Covey and Maddy Christopher after Harris scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Kent County Monday, Sept. 11.