The Flagstaff Eagles girls soccer team ended in a 2-2 draw after two 10-minute periods of extra time against the Arcadia Titans Thursday at Flagstaff High School.
Both of the 4A Conference teams went into the match with a 2-1 record for the season, and Flagstaff had to play from behind to avoid suffering another loss.
The first half of the match proved to be a challenge for both teams, with scoring opportunities arising but remaining unfinished.
The first goal of the day was scored by Titans senior midfielder Sarah Glass, who sent a shot over the goalkeeper with 23 minutes left in the opening half.
Titans forward Kate Moran scored the second goal for Arcadia when Eagles freshman keeper Lianna Albert came out to the 15-yard line and Moran was able to send the ball to the back of the net, putting the Eagles down 2-0.
Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Eagles continued applying offensive pressure. Junior midfielder Sam Slaughter netted the first goal for the Eagles off an assist from junior midfielder Brianna White, sending a shot that bounced behind the goalie off of the top of the goal post and just out of the keeper’s reach. By halftime, the Eagles were down 2-1.
In the second half, the Eagles defensive line was able to prevent the Titans from scoring again.
The score was tied when Karina Fuhrmann, freshman midfielder for the Eagles, sent the ball into the box from the corner, setting up an opportunity for senior forward Zalma Batrez-Cordoza to score her second goal of the season.
Batrez-Cordoza had been working back from a fractured fibula, but she returned to the field in last week’s game against the Estrella Foothills Wolves, who the Eagles beat 2-0 after Batrez-Cordoza scored her first goal of the season.
“The leg still hurts and my fitness is slacking,” Batrez-Cordoza said. “I started off good, but I got tired and I let that get the best of me.”
But Batrez-Cordoza’s late goal made sure both teams left with a 2-1-1 record.
“Overall, we progressively stepped it up,” Flagstaff senior defender Lydia Pelletier-Butler said. “Since they had so many of their forwards pressing up against our defense, I talked with my back line and let them know that they always have to be marking.”
With so much defensive pressure from the Titans, much of the Eagles’ strategy relied on sending long balls to the midfielders and forwards.
“We didn’t really have enough time to settle it down just because they were putting pressure on us right away, so another piece to it was feeding those balls up and over to get those opportunities up top,” Pelletier-Butler said.
Having to rally wasn't something the Eagles were wanting to do against a tough team.
“I think we’re letting the other team get on us early, so somehow we’ve got to crack that. We’re going down and then having to fight back,” said Eagles head coach Holly Jones.
The tie is better than the loss, however.
“I’m very proud that we can come back from being down 2-0. We just need to work on starting the game and putting the ball in the net first,” Jones added.
Flagstaff will be on the road to take on the Shadow Mountain Matadors on Monday at 6 p.m. in Phoenix.