MOUNT VERNON — Being outshot by a large margin, the Mount Vernon girls soccer team may have felt a sense of relief getting a 1-1 tie with Watkins Memorial. But on the other hand, the Jackets also felt a sense of loss Tuesday as they watched a win slip through their hands.
Watkins Memorial outshot Mount Vernon 11-2 in the first half, but the Jackets led 1-0 thanks to a nice goal by Abbey Smith early in the first half. Heather Wantland made a strong corner kick that Smith, charging through on the back side, knocked the ball into the net past Warrior keeper Madison Moore.
“I was open and it kind of went in off my thigh and into the goal. I was happy to score,” said Smith.
The Jackets (3-6) survived an onslaught of shots from the Warriors throughout the game, but especially in the first half after Smith’s goal. Watkins had 11 shots in the first half, including four that hit the cross bar or post.
The Warriors kept peppering away at the Mount Vernon defense and goalkeeper Kenzie Crawford, finally breaking through at the 28 minute mark of the second half when Rebekah Gump scored.
“Our defense played a great game,” said Mount Vernon coach Vit Streska. “Heather Wantland, Kaitlin McPeek and Jenna Steady did an amazing job tonight. They kept out so many shots.”
Watkins continued its assault on Crawford and the Mount Vernon defense, but were unable to dent the scoreboard again. The Jackets were able to get a couple of good runs offensively, but couldn’t quite get it in the net. The tables actually turned on Mount Vernon late, as Michelle Dobson hit the crossbar with 1:30 left in the contest.
“We had some good chances on goal. I was glad to see us score on the corner kick. And, Michelle Dobson had a really nice shot. This team played its heart out tonight,” Streska said.
“We had a few runs and had some opportunities. It just wasn’t perfect timing. It was a good game and well played,” Smith said.
Crawford finished the night with 16 saves for the Jackets.
Mount Vernon returns to action Saturday, hosting Mansfield St. Peter’s at 1 p.m.