WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro Maidens varsity soccer team led 2-0 with time winding down in the first half, Saturday at Buchanan Automotive Stadium against South Western.
But when the Mustangs scored on a free kick from 25 yards, it appeared that Waynesboro might have been living on borrowed time, to borrow a cliché.
Then, South Western tied the non-conference match early in the second half.
The Mustangs went on to score two more goals, including the game winner with 24:32 left in the contest, to bring home a 4-2 victory.
“We need to mark in the box, and we need to win the one (versus) one battles,” said Waynesboro coach Brian Fisher. “That’s the game. We gotta win the one (versus) one battles and mark in the box, and we have to play a little quicker in the attacking third, make the most of our opportunities.”
Waynesboro did that in the first half, but not without some close calls at its own end of the field.
From the outset of the match, South Western set the tempo. While they didn’t get many scoring opportunities, the Mustangs kept the Maidens playing on their heels.
South Western’s Marci Shaffer got the game’s first shot on goal in the 31st minute off a pass from Carly Louey. Louey later got off a shot that was high and landed on the goal net.
The Louey-Shaffer combination at that stage of the match proved to be a foreshadowing of things to come in the second half.
For now, the Maidens (2-2) managed to keep South Western’s offensive surges at bay, limiting them to the midfield area or the fringes of the Waynesboro defensive zone.
Things took a turn for Waynesboro inside of the 22-minute mark of the first half.
It started when Nikki Davis passed to Grace French, who then passed to Cam Witte to get the ball to midfield.
Moments later, True Benshoff gave chase to a pass along the near sideline, with the ball nearing the South Western goal area. The Mustangs kicked the ball out, then were awarded a throw-in.
The possession didn’t yield a goal, but it at least gave the Maidens’ defense a reprieve from being pressured by the South Western forwards. The Mustangs returned to Waynesboro’s end of the field in quick order, but a free kick from the goal circle by Sierra Rea sent the ball back to midfield and gave Waynesboro a chance to make something happen.
With possession inside of the South Western 25 yard line, Waynesboro’s Grace French fed Lainey Peyton, who was able to send the ball in front of the goal.
That attempt didn’t bear fruit, but moments later, Benshoff got off a sharp angle shot that got behind the goalkeeper for a 1-0 Waynesboro lead with 21:10 remaining in the first half.
The action went back and forth until the Maidens, with 3:24 to play in the first 40 minutes, scored when Megan Miller found the back of the net. Davis notched the assist, and Waynesboro led 2-0.
The shutout was short-lived, as South Western scored less than a minute later after penetrating midfield and to the outskirts of the 25.
Shaffer scored on the rebound right in front of the goal surrounded by several players to tie the game at 28:18 of the second half. Shaffer scored again less than four minutes later.
With 8:30 to play, Louey scored off a pass from Shaffer to make it 4-2.
“It’s frustrating,” said Fisher, whose team must quickly forget about the loss with a match coming up on Monday against Hershey. “I think we left this one on the field; we could have won this game.”