Spartans overtake Bulldogs in 2 OTs
KINTNERSVILLE - In Tuesday's Colonial league semifinal playoff matchup between Southern Lehigh (15-0-1) and Northern Lehigh (10-4-2), 79 minutes of game time saw both teams go scoreless despite a number of opportunities.
It wasn't until the 10:48 mark of the second overtime period that the Spartans capitalized on one of their shots, as senior midfielder/forward Kelsey King's goal found it's way past the Bulldogs goalkeeper, junior Nicole Horn, for the 1-0 victory.
Horn, who tallied a total of 14 saves in goal, kept her team in the game throughout its entirety. She made a number of clutch saves in both regulation and the first overtime, and is a big credit to the Bulldogs' success.
"Nicole played outstanding in goal," said Northern Lehigh head coach Jessica Frew. "Southern Lehigh has top scorers and every shot (was) just denied."
The back line of the defense also played superb as well. While the Spartans had a number of opportunities on goal, the Bulldog defense made it tough around the net, and forced the ball out of the zone throughout the contest.
"Between her (Horn) and our backs - Heather Chandler and Morgan Farber - they just shut down the offense, which is what needed to happen," said Frey.
Although the Bulldogs have yet to get over the hump and defeat the Spartans, they showed they could hang with anyone, and a goal the other way would've propelled them into the championship game.
"Basically what you want in a team is just to believe," said Frey. "There's that stigma of doing something that we never done before. It just seems like we always come up a little shy, but this is one of the best efforts we've ever put up against this team."
The Bulldogs obviously wanted to be on the other end of the result, however.
"This is heartbreaking," said Frey. "The girls put it all out there. They definitely truly believed they were going to win."
While the Spartans will celebrate this victory and move on to their Colonial League finals matchup against Moravian on Thursday, the Bulldogs will look forward to districts set to begin in the near future.
"I just remind them - we had a tough heartbreaker against Moravian Academy in overtime and Southern Lehigh - if they can just manage to have the mentality of playing the best team in the league and finishing, they can beat anybody," said Frey. "Combining just playing tough, like they did tonight, and finishing, getting a goal; that's all it takes."