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GIRLS SOCCER: Chambersburg, Greencastle-Antrim play to entertaining 2-2 draw

CHAMBERSBURG >> Chess pieces were being moved all over Trojan Stadium on Saturday night.

In the end, despite plenty of interesting moves and quality defense, neither team came out a winner.

But that doesn't take away from the entertainment value of the non-league girls soccer game between Greencastle-Antrim and Chambersburg. The Blue Devils and Trojans battled end-to-end in a 2-2 tie.

Once in each half, G-A (1-1-1) took a lead. Both times, Chambersburg (2-1-1) evened the count – only 40 seconds later in the first half, and then dangerously close to the end of regulation.

Trojan coach Eric Guyer said, "The effort was excellent, and these girls have had that every game so far. They are just running all over the place."

Greencastle's offense is centered around star Ally Rudy, for good reason, and the Trojans had to be aware of her presence at all times.

At the other end, the veteran Blue Devil defense of Meghan Herneisen, Alyssa Denkovich and Hannah Crist, plus athletic goalkeeper Jenay Faulkner, had to deal with several dangerous moving parts for Chambersburg.

"They have so much speed up there with No. 20 (Cirsten Kelly), No. 15 (Claire Jacobs) and No. 14 (Gabriella Lecuona) when she was up top," G-A coach Greg Cole. "Kudos to Eric because he plays to that strength."

Greencastle countered that speed by having the defenders push up high, allowing Faulkner to play way out from her goal and testing the Trojans with an offside trap.

Denkovich said, "We've been trying to push the ball up higher, because then there's not as much of a gap. We know how to work with each other and when to hold up."

And while the Devils did catch Chambersburg offsides 14 times, the ploy did not work at a crucial time.

With G-A ahead 2-1 and the clock nearing three minutes to play, Kelly found herself in the middle of the field instead of the right wing, where she had been trapped quite a few times. She received a pass from Brynn Vandegriff that put her behind the defenders and she hit a low shot that Faulkner couldn't reach.

Kelly said, "Being offsides like that is frustrating; I need to make more diagonal runs. But that pass was in a good spot and it put me through. I know their keeper is tall, so I tried to keep the shot low."

Guyer said, "Their trap limits what you can do because you have to time it exactly. But I told Cirsten that being offsides a handful of times doesn't matter if you score a goal."

The Blue Devils opened the scoring when Paige Johnson pounced on a loose ball and hit a shot that deflected into the net. But 40 seconds later, it was 1-1. Kendyl Grant hit a through ball to Isabella Weigel, whose quality high strike zipped past Faulkner.

Rudy, who was quiet for most of the game, left her mark in the second half. Denkovich took a free kick from about 35 yards out and Rudy used a twisting header to knock it into the net.

"When Alyssa is taking the direct kicks, she's looking for Ally, because Ally will attack a header," Cole said. "She was going the other way, and still put it in the far side."

Guyer said, "I thought Lauren Ocker did well on Rudy tonight, and we knew about her flick headers. Liz Bishop was up with her on that one, but she hit the perfect header into the perfect spot."

In overtime, Weigel had three decent chances. On a breakaway she was caught from behind by Herneisen. Then she had a 1-on-1 vs. Faulkner smothered by the keeper. Finally, she got past a rushing Faulkner, but couldn't get anything on the shot and Denkovich cleared the ball.

Chambersburg 2, Greencastle 2

First half — (G) Paige Johnson, 11th minute, (C) Isabella Weigel, asst. Kendyl Grant, 11th.

Second half — (G) Ally Rudy, asst. Alyssa Denkovich, 58th, (C) Cirsten Kelly, asst. Brynn Vandegriff, 76th.

Shots — GA 11, Chbg 14; Shots on goal — GA 7, Chbg 8; Corner kicks — GA 1, Chbg 3; Saves — GA 6 (Jenay Faulkner), Chbg 5 (Megan Cottingham); Fouls — GA 7, Chbg 13; Offsides — GA 1, Chbg 14.