Somers, Windsor Locks girls soccer ties…again

WINDSOR LOCKS — For the third time in three games, the Windsor Locks and Somers girls soccer teams played to a tie. But this one had a little something extra.

“Historically we are even with them,” Somers head coach Michael Pantuosco said, citing 0-0 and 3-3 ties in the games the team’s played last season. “We battle every time. I think if either team came out of this one with a loss, they would have been ticked off.”

After a first half goal by Tiana Edwards put the Spartans ahead at the break, both teams regrouped knowing the second half would be a dog fight.

“When we get together with Somers it is always like that,” Windsor Locks head coach Jim O’Brien said. “It’s a fast game. It’s a physical game. It really started cranking up in the last 20 minutes of the half and then the overtimes.”

“It’s one of those games you know it is going to be physical,” Pantuosco said. “It’s going to be loud, and you’re looking to see which kids are going to step up to the challenge.”

Somers’ Erin Pfeifer scored to tie the game, 1-1 on a spectacular cross from Jaclyn O’Grady just eight minutes into the second half.

After jockeying for position for nearly 25 minutes, Somers struck the next blow, scoring its second consecutive goal on a Katherine LaVallee strike, again assisted by O’Grady.

“Jaclyn made two great crosses on both goals,” Pantuosco said. “Erin went hard to the goal and got the first one, and Katherine, the second one.”

Not two minutes had progressed before Shelby Carr scored in the 68th minute, making it a 2-2 game.

“It was huge,” O’Brien said of the goal, assisted by Allison LaDuke. “We hadn’t really put a whole lot of pressure on their goalkeeper and their backs in the second half. That kind of loosened things up a little bit, got things going for us.”

The teams battled neck and neck with urgency as regulation ticked away, but there was no more offense to be had, and the first of two overtimes commenced.

In the two five-minute extra frames, Windsor Locks twice had corner kicks, and controlled the ball in the offensive zone. But the Somers defensive attack stepped up and kept the game tied in a furious final 10 minutes.

“I am definitely proud,” O’Brien said of his team’s play in the extra periods.  “Certainly I felt like we played very well in the overtimes. We certainly had the most chances and were the most threatening team. That we didn’t put it in was disappointing, but the overtimes were great. We played really well.”

Perhaps the stellar play on both sides was due to the atmosphere, a packed house for the 7 p.m. start under the lights at Veterans Memorial Park.

“It’s always a little extra under the lights,” O’Brien said. “I wish it was that same energy on a day game, a Monday game. We were amped up.”

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