Raiders fall in OT
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Blue Mountain's Courtney Adie and Tamaqua's Allison Amodea (20) collide as Adie heads the ball.
Clem McCarroll knew Blue Mountain's Madyson Reigel had the ability to take over a game.
Unfortunately for the Tamaqua coach and his Raider team, Reigel did just that on Monday.
After Tamaqua was able to slow down Reigel in an earlier meeting this season, the Blue Eagles' star wasn't about to let that happen again. Reigel's performance led Blue Mountain to a 3-2 Schuylkill League Division I victory over the Blue Raiders.
Reigel scored two second half goals to rally Blue Mountain. She then set up the game-winning goal in double overtime.
"I told the team at halftime when we ahead 1-0 that Madyson's coming in the second half. I told them she's going to take over the game," McCarroll said. "She's just that kind of kid that can do that.
"The first time we played her, she showed she can be a force. We were tied and she just tried to bring them back, but she fell short. She had it in her to take over a game and today she did."
The Blue Raiders contained Reigel in the first half as they an 8-2 edge in shots and used a Brynn Lehato goal 6:38 into the game to take a 1-0.
It looked as if the Blue Raiders had taken a 2-0 lead with 26:26 left in the second half as Kailee Rottet, the Schuylkill League's leading scorer with 37 goals on the season, appeared to score her 100th career goal. The referees disagreed, however, as they said Blue Mountain keeper Sarah Xenophon contained the ball on a tip and didn't allow it to cross the line.
The call seemed open the door for Reigel to take control of the game.
With 18:18 left in the game, Reigel was able to make her third shot of the game a lucky one. On a breakaway towards the Blue Raiders' net, Reigel was able to push the ball past keeper Carly Sassaman to tie the game.
Reigel made her second shot count as well. On another breakaway, Reigel gave the visitors a 2-1 lead with 2:20 left in the game.
But with time winding down, the Blue Raiders showed they have a game-changer in their lineup as well.
Rottet, Tamaqua's all-time leading scorer, stepped up when her team needed her most. Just 27 seconds after Blue Mountain took the lead, Rottet knotted it right back up by scoring her 100th career goal.
Hounded all night with two or three Blue Eagles defenders on her, Rottet caught the visitors by surprise.
"After Reigel's second goal, we kind of fell asleep," Blue Mountain coach Mike Burcik said. "And within that short window of us scoring the goal, we made the mistake of letting her go and she capitalized on the opportunity.
"We were able to double up on her all nigh. In doing so, we limited her possibilities. But, congratulation to her for all that she has accomplished in her career though."
The Blue Raiders were able to threaten three times in the first overtime, but weren't able to seize on the opportunities. But in the second overtime, it took Reigel and teammate Kelly Maberry a matter of seconds to ruin the night for the Blue Raiders.
Fifty-one seconds into the final overtime period, Reigel pushed the ball across the far sideline to a streaking Maberry. Maberry got enough foot on it to sneak it to the back of the net for the game-winner.
The goal put an end to an impressive run of league playoff berths for McCarroll and his Blue Raiders.
"This is the first time in six years that we won't make the playoffs," said McCarroll. "But I think we got a lot out of the last few minutes of the game. We can build on that. Other teams might have given up with two minutes to go. So, I think that will give us momentum to realize that we could have beat that team.
"In the first half, we wasted a lot of shots. I was afraid that was going to come back and bite us. With a team like that, they're going to come back at you. And, they did."