Brookfield Central senior Lydia Rohde is great on set pieces and Brookfield East's Abby Gregg is the fastest athlete on the field. Both soccer coaches — Matt Schroeder of East and Danny Makal of Central — were very much aware of this.
But neither team could make a stop when they needed to and as a result, the Lancers and Spartans battled to a double overtime 1-1 tie in a Greater Metro Conference match on a cold, rainy night April 24 at East.
After a scoreless first half, the Lancers came out and received a direct kick opportunity at the 46-minute, 53-second mark.
Rohde lined up about 20 yards out on the left side and drilled a perfect shot over the Spartans line and into the top half of the net where East goalkeeper Rachel Novak had no chance to block it.
For Rohde, it was her fifth attempt in the last two games, as she had four tries in the previous match.
"Seeing Lydia score on a set piece like we worked on in practice was great," said Central's first-year coach Makal. "We trained and it came through."
Rohde was relieved she finally made one.
"Coach works with me on it a little bit in practice," she said. "I've had a couple of those where I missed them, but I got the timing just right."
Schroeder wanted his team to stay out of those situations.
"They are so dangerous on set pieces," he said. "Lydia, I'm just thrilled she's a senior. I told that to Danny and he said 'I'm not.'"
With the way both defenses were playing, things looked bleak for the Spartans.
"This team has character and a never-give-up attitude," Schroeder said. "They've shown that twice this year."
The clock just passed the 70-minute mark when sophomore forward Ari Banks moved the ball up the field, found junior forward Morgan Precour, who in turn passed to a wide open Gregg racing down the right side of the field.
Central goalkeeper, Rachel Oleson, one of the best in the state, came out to cut down on the angle as Gregg raced toward the goal and somehow kicked the ball just by her.
Schroeder credited Banks for her midfield presence and ability to go forward with keeping East in the game.
"I cannot say enough about her; Ari Banks was all over the field," he said. "It seems like the ball sticks to her foot. She did a good job finding Morgan and passed the ball behind her. She (Morgan) came back and turned and hit the ball through to Abby with her right foot.
"Abby hit a really nice shot. She didn't have a good angle. Rachel, who is a first-team all-conference keeper, came out and did a good job like you would expect her to do. I don't know how Abby got it by her."
Schroeder talked about his strategy with Gregg.
"She will be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, players on the field every time," he said. "We know we can get her in as many dangerous positions as we can. She's a winger, but if we need her, we know we can put her up top at the point."
Central missed too-good opportunities, including one shot that slammed off the crossbar. But neither team scored in the final nine minutes or the two 10-minute overtime periods.
"East played a great match," Makal said. "They fought, and there were times that it seemed they wanted it more than we did. Not to say we didn't want it, we definitely did."
Schroeder returned the compliment.
"I want to credit Central for a game well played," he said. "They are a strong side."
Saturday, April 26
Brookfield Central handed the Rockets their first defeat, 1-0, in overtime at Neenah. Abby Miller scored with the goal, assisted by Katelyn Robinson in the 85th minute. The Rockets record dropped to 6-1-1, while the Lancers improved to 4-0-1.
Brookfield East dropped a 1-0 decision at Kettle Moraine to close out the week. The Lasers scored on a shot by Chase Rehm off a pass from Mandy Bruz. The Spartans saw their record fall to 3-2-1, while Kettle Moraine improved to 4-1.
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