After going back and forth for over 79 minutes it seemed only fitting that the Colonial Conference girls' soccer showdown between West Deptford High School and Haddon Heights was about to head to overtime.
However, when the final whistle blew, the Eagles were left not preparing for an extra session, but trying to figure out what just happened.
Haddon Heights’ Ally Glickman scored with 35 seconds left to send the Garnets to a 1-0 win at Webber Field, Wednesday night.
Haddon Heights received a direct kick from about 35 yards out with under a minute left. The ball was sent in the box where it found Glickman, who fired in a shot that West Deptford keeper Anna Kipp had no chance at stopping.
The goal sparked off a celebration for the Garnets and left the Eagles wondering how things changed so suddenly.
“It’s terrible,” West Deptford senior forward Paige Paratore said. “We worked our butts off and we were so close, and then in the last 35 seconds they score. It feels terrible.”
The game was as balanced as advertised, with possession going back and forth. Both teams entered with Haddonfield as the only conference loss on their resume. Each team had several quality scoring chances late – including a drive by Paratore from 20 yards out that sailed over the net with seven minutes left – but no one was able to break through until the final minute.
“I thought it was going to be a tough game and it would be even the whole time,” said Paratore. “Last year we went into overtime with them and I thought it was going to be the same way this year.”
The Eagles fell to 8-4, with all four losses coming as the result of a shutout. Paratore said the struggles against top teams have been the result of the Eagles’ trying to rush with the ball, rather than keep control and build an attack.
“We just need to stay calm and posses the ball, because at some points we tend to just kick it in stead of staying calm,” Paratore said. “We just need to posses because we can do it really well.”
West Deptford will have a few days off to get over the stinging defeat before taking on a trio of conference opponents. The key, Paratore said, is keeping their eyes on the big picture and remembering what they have done to be successful.
“I think we are all playing good.” Paratore said. “We just need to get over it. It happened in the last 35 seconds and we can’t do anything about it.”