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Comeback thriller Bertrando’s PK goal caps Warwick’s 5-4 win over Cedar Crest
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Marisa Bertrando doesn’t always shoot her penalty kicks to the right side of the net.
That’s where her comfort zone is, however.
On Monday, she went to the right on a PK with just seconds left in a Section One game against Cedar Crest and made no mistake, beating Lady Falcons’ keeper Katie Gable into the corner of the net to snap a 4-4 tie.
It proved to be the difference in a 5-4 win for the Warwick girls (1-2 league, 2-2 overall) in Lititz, capping a trilling comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the first half.
"I just knew we all worked really hard to get back what we had let up earlier in the game," Bertrando said. "So I just wanted to bury it and capitalize on our chance and make sure we finished the game strong."
"In my year-plus as head coach, I feel like we’ve had the effort and we’ve had the passion and we’ve had the girls that are willing to do anything for each other," Warwick skipper Chrissy Casella said. "For it to come together and have them translate their passion into a great game of soccer and to come out on top, I don’t have words for it."
Few might have expected them to come out on top after Crest got back-to-back goals from Gabby Boehmer and Haleigh Echard within the first three minutes, and then another by Boehmer in the 13th minute to go up 3-0.
For the game, Cedar Crest outshot the Lady Warriors by a margin of 15-9, and although Warwick eventually righted the ship and got an excellent scoring opportunity by Tamara Lalovic, forcing Gable to make a diving save, it remained a 3-0 game at the break.
"Obviously the first 10 minutes were less than ideal, so we went into half down 3-0. Coach Kamen started by saying, ‘Look, this game is not over. We have 40 more minutes. They scored three goals in 10 minutes, so why can’t we score three or more in 40?’ I told them I had been part of three games where the opponent was up 3-0 and then we came back to win 4-3 or got beat 4-3."
The halftime must have helped because the Warwick girls came out as an inspired team in the second half. A quality Maddy Miller-to-Kate Mobley scoring chance early set the tone, and after continuing to push the action, the Lady Warriors were finally rewarded when Sam Machin’s blast deflected off the inside of the left and caromed into the back of the net in the 47th minute.
Less than a minute later, Lauren Snader took a sweet pass from Sara Scouten and perfectly placed a shot under the crossbar, drawing Warwick within one, 3-2, and giving them all the momentum.
"In soccer, (3-0) is a big hole to come back from, so our coaches told us to give high pressure, play simple and smart and keep calm and that’s, I think, what ended up being the deciding factor – staying calm and having composure on the net," Mobley said.
"We knew that we had to come out strong if we wanted to have a chance of changing the way the game had started," Bertrando said.
In the 66th minute, freshman Rene Ross, after scoring a goal and assist in the JV game, blasted home her first career varsity tally to tie things up at 3-all. Gable got a piece of the ball, but not enough, as it found the right corner.
One minute later, Mobley got the go-ahead tally to give Warwick its first lead, 4-3, taking a pass from Schouten, cutting right at the top of the box and booting a hard ground shot past Gable into the left corner.
"I remember Rene won the ball on the left side and then Sara got it and she made a nice ball forward," Mobley recalled. "I split the defenders, and I knew that I needed to score and wanted to place it well and it worked out."
There was still work to be done, though, especially after Crest’s Boehmer completed her hat trick in the 68th minute, scoring into the upper right corner for a 4-4 tie.
A few minutes later, Warwick got a scare as Boehmer got a 1-on-1 opportunity against Warwick freshman keeper Taylor Gonzales, looking for her fourth tally. But Gonzales was equal to the challenge and made one of her 11 saves.
That set the table for the final minute of play, when Katie Hipple free kick near midfield resulted in a threat by Warwick. Eventually, Sam Springer was fouled inside the box and Bertrando was called upon for the PK.
"She’s done it at practice, so I went straight to her and was like, ‘Marisa, you’re taking this,’" Mobley said. "She buried it."
Having already played two OT games in their first three games, the Lady Warriors had no interest in another one.
"I really didn’t want to go to overtime," Bertrando said. "We knew we all put our heart into it, so it was better just to finish it in those 80 minutes than have to go any longer."
Last Thursday, the Warwick girls suffered a 4-0 loss to Conestoga Valley in Witmer. The game was close at the break, with Warwick trailing just 1-0. But then the Lady Bucks, who had a 9-3 edge in shots, added three goals in the second half to pull away.
Gonzales finished with eight stops in goal for the Warriors.
More COMEBACK, page B-4