Saline’s varsity soccer team opened SEC Red play by tying Huron, 1-1, at Hornet Stadium Tuesday evening.
Sophie Wood scored Saline’s goal and Brenna Crawford made several key stops to preserve the tie.
For much of the game, Saline applied pressure on the River Rats. The pressure resulted in seven corner kicks to Huron’s two.
All of the contest’s goals came during a 90 second window in the first half.
First, with 13:30 to play in the half, junior Sophie Wood intercepted a pass and broke through the Huron defense and chipped the ball over the oncoming keeper.
Wood described the goal.
“The outside back played it to the center back. I saw the opportunity and I cut in front and took it. I did a straight away and just tried to chip it over the goalie,” Wood said.
Wood’s goal came after a week of practicing high pressure and stealing the ball in dangerous areas, Saline coach Leigh Rumbold said.
“Sophie did exactly what we wanted her to do. She stepped in front of the pass, broke and dribbled and penetrated the lines and finished nicely,” Rumbold said.
The high press caused difficulty for the River Rats for much of the evening.
Only two minutes later, Huron tied it, taking advantage of a turnover and scoring on a one-on-one with Crawford.
Later in the first half, Crawford was tested on a similar play. This time she made the stop.
“I saw it coming through and I read it really well. I came out and tried to get my body in front of it,” Crawford said.
The ball deflected off Crawford toward the side of the net and Saline’s defense headed the ball away from danger.
Saline started the second half with great opportunities. Nora Udrys ripped a hard shot just over the upper left corner from 25 yards. Lauren Rubin had a shot caught from 20 yards. Later in the half, Libby Hansen had a great chance rushing up the left wing. Rubin also had a great scoring chance from the top of the box late in the contest.
Saline allowed just one harmless shot in the first 35 minutes of the second half.
And then, with about five minutes left to go in the contest, a breakdown allowed Huron a glorious chance to take a 2-1 lead. Crawford found her self in a one-on-one with a River Rat streaking down the middle of the middle field.
“They had a good counter attack on us and we weren’t quite ready for the through ball. I just came out and did my thing,” Crawford said, modestly.
“That was a massive save because we could ended up losing the game, 2-1, which would have been harsh,” Rumbold said.
Crawford admitted to be nervous as a sophomore playing her home opener and SEC Red opener for the varsity team.
“It was pretty nervous for this game but I trust all these girls and they’re all super friendly and welcoming, so it was good,” Crawford said.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
1. Brenna Crawford - The sophomore keeper made two great saves to preserve the tie for the Hornets.
2) Sophie Wood - The Saline junior scored Saline's only goal.
3) Lauren Rubin - Created chances all night with pressure on Huron's defense.