The visiting Warren Central Lady Dragons got a late goal Thursday evening to snap a 3-3 tie and send them to a 4-3 victory over the Lady Cougar soccer team in a game played at Cougar Field.
In the earlier game, Central scored two first-half goals and made them stand up for a 2-0 win over Grayson County’s JV squad.
Sophomore Kayden Sutherland had another good scoring game for the varsity squad, scoring all three Lady Cougar goals. But Sutherland’s performance was overshadowed by Central senior Angie Reyes-Palma, who scored all four Lady Dragon goals, including the game-winner with about eight minutes left in the game.
Sutherland now has a total of five goals in the early going following Monday’s season-opening 3-2 win at Warren East, where she scored twice and assisted Bailey Decker on the third goal.
The two teams traded threats in the opening minutes of the first half. The Lady Dragons had a pair of corner kicks in the first nine minutes, and Sutherland had a good chance in the 12th minute, but put the ball into the side of the net.
The Lady Dragons broke through first when Reyes-Palma beat Lady Cougar goalie Gabby Priddy with a shot off an assist from Adelisa Mujic.
In the 20th minute, following a Central defensive lapse that allowed the ball through toward the goal, a Sutherland shot clanged off the left upright but caromed into the goal to knot things at a goal apiece.
Grayson County took its first lead of the game in the 32nd minute. Goal keeper Eriona Shabari came out of her net to try to grab a ball in front, but Sutherland got a foot to the ball and sent it across the goal mouth. The Lady Cougar forward was able to get to the ball before the Central defenders and rocketed a left-footed shot into the empty net to make it 2-1.
Central tied it at 2-2 in the 34th minute. Central was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area, and the Lady Cougars set up a wall in front of their goal. The shot went into the wall, but one of the Lady Cougar defenders was whistled for a handball, giving the Dragons a penalty kick, and Reyes-Palma put it in the goal to make it 2-2.
With just a couple of minutes left in the first half, Central scored again to take a 3-2 lead. With play in the middle of the field, a ball got through the Cougar defense and went toward the Cougar goal. Priddy came out trying to get to the ball first, but Reyes-Palma beat her to it and fired it past Priddy and into the net.
There was a lot of contact throughout the game, with not much being called by the official. Junior Taylor Glenn was injured in the first half and had to come out of the game. Sophomore forward Keisha Dennis went down early in the second half and never returned.
Twenty minutes into the second half, with the Lady Cougars threatening, Central was whistled on a hard foul in the penalty area and the Lady Cougars were awarded a penalty kick. Shabari seemed to have stopped Sutherland’s shot, but the ball bounced off her hands and went over her shoulder toward the goal.
Shabari was able to get a hand on the ball and knock it away from the goal, but the referee on the side ruled that the ball broke the plane of the goal and gave the point to the Lady Cougars, tying the game once more at 3-3.
Reyes-Palma won the game for Central in the 72nd minute, putting the ball in from just a few yards out when the Grayson County defense was unable to clear the it.
Grayson County tried desperately for the equalizer in the closing moments, but was unable to sustain any meaningful threat.