KICK

LOFTY ASPIRATIONS — Fairfield’s Maddy Fulgham lofts a pass as Bermudian Springs’ Jamylett Lua closes in during Thursday’s YAIAA-3 game in York Springs. The Green Knights and Eagles battled to a 1-1 draw.

A draw wasn’t the desired outcome for either side, but neither was upset by it following the 1-1 finish between Bermudian Springs and Fairfield in YAIAA-3 girls’ soccer action Thursday evening at Alumni Field in York Springs.

The result keeps Fairfield on top of the table at 5-0-1, while the Eagles are close on their heels at 5-1-1. The Knights took the first matchup of the season between the squads, 3-2, on Sept 24.

“I’m just so proud of the effort of our girls tonight,” Berm head coach Jeff Hamon said. “They gave all they had.”

Fairfield began the match down three starters due to injury and lost two more during the match. Something that wasn’t lost on Knight head coach Owen Phelan.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls that were on the field at the end of the match tonight,” he said. “Due to injuries, we had girls playing out of position and some had to play twice as many minutes as they usually do.”

A scoreless opening 40 minutes, which saw the visitors register the only shots on goal, gave way to a more action-filled second half.

After not mounting much of an attack in the first half, Bermudian went on the hunt for the game’s first goal with Bailey Oehmig notching a shot at the 36:56 mark and Amber Nickey following suit two minutes later.

Despite being on their heels for much of the first 10 minutes after intermission, Fairfield broke the scoreless deadlock with 29:29 to play in regulation.

Senior Liv Cliber scored off an assist from junior Emma Dennison after Dennison sent a cross from the right into the center of the pitch. Cliber then a lofted a shot to the top right corner of the net.

Bermudian was not deterred, though, as the hosts began looking for the equalizer, but strong play in net by Fairfield sophomore keeper Sophia Orndorff kept the Eagles with a donut in the scoring column.

Orndorff denied quality scoring attempts by Oehmig (23:56) and Jamylet Lua (22:04).

Fairfield’s Naia Roberts had a chance to bump her side’s advantage to two goals, but Berm keeper Payton Feeser turned it aside with 13:11 left.

Oehmig had one more opportunity to even it with 3:27 to go, but was stopped and things looked bleak for the Eagles.

However, Berm had one more chance in regulation and was able to level the match. Oehmig’s direct kick from 35 yards out was denied by Orndorff, but Avery Benzel ran into the rebound and buried it for the equalizing tally with 23 ticks to go.

Both teams had one quality chance in the first extra period, but Orndorff and Feeser both stood tall.

Then in the second overtime, Berm controlled the action, but couldn’t find the winner.

“We had a lot of rough touches,” Hamon said. “We didn’t capitalize on a lot of the opportunities that we had.”

Despite graduating a big senior class and and a roster being dominated by freshmen and sophomores, the Knights are still in pursuit of a fifth straight division crown.

“We’re a younger team than we have been, but these girls know the standard that has been set here at Fairfield,” Phelan said. “Our young girls are talented, the only thing they’re lacking is a lot of varsity experience.”

The District 3 playoffs, which begin in a couple weeks, take four teams in the respective classes of both teams. Entering Thursday’s contest, Fairfield was sitting first in 1A, while Berm was eighth in 2A.

Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas

Fairfield 0 1 0 0 — 1

Bermudian Springs 0 1 0 0 — 1

Second Half: F-Liv Cliber (Emma Dennison), 29:29; BS-Avery Benzel (Bailey Oehmig), 0:23. Shots: F-7; BS-11. Corners: F-3; BS-5. Saves: F-Sophie Orndorff (10); BS-Payton Feeser (6)

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