The Morgan girls soccer squad played a home game against Region 11 rival Bear River Lady Bears on Tuesday Sept.21st. The first half saw both teams battle hard, but as has happened in many games this season, the Lady Trojans gave up an early goal, in the 10th minute, to go down 1-0. However, the Lady Trojans were able this time to fight back quickly, and when Senior striker Chelsea Fairbourn hit a high-arching shot from distance that curled into the top left corner of the net, the Trojans were able to knot the score at 1-1. Senior mid fielder Becca Rees tallied the assist. The home squad controlled most of the action in the first half, with a lot of ball possession and more shots than the visitors, but Bear River was able to take a 2-1 lead midway through the half. With under 3 minutes to go the Trojans struck again, this time with some nice passing in front of the goal, and Freshman Lauren Casper played a well struck ball through the defense and towards the goal. Chelsea Fairbourn was there again, running onto the ball just before the goal line to tap the ball in and tie the score at 2-2. Casper was credited with the assist. While fans expected the score to remain tied going into half-time, Bear River had other ideas. They pushed forward in the last few seconds of the half, scoring their 3rd goal of the half and going into half-time leading 3-2. Both teams came out stronger defensively in the second half, and both squads found it difficult to find much space to attack into. Defensively for the Trojans, Junior Sweeper Megan Passey was able to track down most of the long thru balls, and marking backs Madi Sunday, Lizzey Stauder, and Berit Hackler were able to stay with and battle the speedy forwards and mid-fielders from Bear River. Senior Keeper Chelsey Stegelmeier was staunch between the pipes. With the game winding down to under two minutes, the Trojans were pushing hard for the equalizing goal. The ball was worked up front to the top of the 18, were Senior AJ Bateman found the ball at her feet and her back to the goal. As AJ turned to open space and prepared to fire an open shot on goal, the center referee, who keeps the game time on his watch, inexplicably blew his whistle to signal the end of the game. While it is within the rules and his rights as an official to blow the whistle at exactly the moment his clock winds down, it is common for the center ref to allow an attacking play to resolve of itself as the game winds down, even if time has run out. The attacking team is commonly allowed, if they are able to maintain control of the ball for a period of time, to finish their attack. This makes for an interesting twist to soccer matches that differs from other sports like football and basketball, where everyone knows exactly when the game ends. In soccer, only the center ref really knows, and it adds a bit of tension and excitement to the end of each half. On this day, the center ref deemed the final play dead and the game over before a final shot on goal could be struck, and the match ended with Bear River ahead by a score of 3-2. Offensively for the Trojans, Fairbourn took 6 shots, Rees took two, Bateman took three, Miner took two, and Tausha Andersen , Hackler, and Stauder took 1 each. The Lady Bears finished with 12 shots on goal, with Trojan Keeper Stegelmeier being credited with 9 saves The Trojans will now head into the last 5 matches of their season, battling for a playoff spot, hopefully with a bit of a chip on their shoulder following that tough home loss. Last Week The Lady Trojans soccer team played the Ben Lomond Lady Scots on Thursday Sept. 16th. While the team played better overall, they fell to the home squad by a score of 4-3. The Lady Trojans dug themselves a hole early on in the match, falling behind 2-0 less than 15 minutes in. Sophomore winger Tasha Andersen was able to break free of her defender to finally get the Trojans on the scoreboard near the end of the first half with a nice strike from the right side of the pitch, but the Trojans found themselves down 3-1 at half time. Senior Mid fielder Becca Rees tallied the assist on the goal. Two of the 3 Ben Lomond goals were scored when Trojans defenders went high in the air to head the ball away, only to have it skip awkwardly off their head and into the path of a Ben Lomond attacker who ran onto the ball and went 1v1 with our keeper. Sophomore striker Megan Miner found the back of the net in the second half, with the assist going to Senior Chelsea Fairbourn, but after Ben Lomond scored again, the Morgan squad found themselves down 4-2 with time running out. The Lady Trojans put on a relentless attack in the last 20 minutes of the match, and it payed off when Fairbourn, who was playing up front as a striker, was tripped up inside the 18 yd box and went hard to the ground. Chelsea has been playing the entire year in pain, having been recently diagnosed with 2 fractures in her back, and has been wearing a bulky back-brace for protection. Chelsea was in obvious pain following the foul, but was able to play-on for the remainder of the match. Senior AJ Bateman was called upon to take the penalty kick, and calmly slotted a solid shot to the upper right corner of the net to pull the Trojans within a goal with time to spare. The Lady Trojans battled to get the equalizer, but the clock ran out with the Trojans down a goal. The Trojan defense was lead by Keeper Chelsey Stegelmeier, sweeper Megan Passey, fullbacks Madi Sunday, Dani Poll, Lizzie Stauder , Berit Hackler, and Lauren Casper. Mid fielders on the wings were Tausha Andersen, Kenzie Moore and Ali Peterson. Roaming the center midfield and striker positions were Chelsea Fairborn, Megan Miner, Becca Rees and AJ Bateman. Senior Dani Poll incurred a serious knee injury early in the second half which will require surgery, and will miss the remainder of the season. The team will miss her skills and senior leadership on the field, but will continue to play hard for her and each other for the second half of region 11 play.
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