Owen J. Roberts lets lead slip away, wins it late

BUCKTOWN — Owen J. Roberts head coach Clarence Jennelle sees promise in his young team.

Yet, with youth comes mistakes.

With a two-goal lead evaporated midway through the second half, OJR’s Makena Aberle scored the eventual game-winning goal with 1:35 remaining as the Wildcats escaped with a 3-2 victory over visiting Holy Redeemer in both team’s season opener on Friday afternoon.

“The first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes we were stepping up to the ball before them, the middle 40 minutes we were waiting to see what they would do, and that was our downfall,’ Jennelle said. “If we can start stepping up, and keep that up, we’ll be fine.

“When we passed in-and-out down the sidelines we looked good, when we went through the middle that’s what gave us trouble.’

The Wildcats had dominated the pace of play early as Aberle found the back of the cage for her first career goal after a brilliant feed from Corinne Gerber one minute into the game before Keeley White retrieved an insert from Morgan Stone and fired home a laser to make it 2-0.

Redeemer answered as Jen Ringsdorf capitalized on OJR’s inability to keep it out of the middle, as she took a pass from Rachel Platko and fired a shot that found its way to the back-left corner of the cage, pitting the score at 2-1 entering the half.

Redeemer nearly tied it five minutes into the second half as Platko rocketed a blast that was labeled for the right-bottom corner of the cage. The ball sailed past the stick of OJR goalkeeper Amanda Lamb but Nettie Montes came up with a dynamic defense save, finally sitting on the ball after she failed to clear on numerous chances.

“I just saw it get past Amanda and thought “I had to get this,” Montes, one of three returning starters, said. “I dropped my stick as fast as I could and tried to get it out (of the circle). Even if I caused a corner.’

The defensive highlight was quickly forgotten as Redeemer’s Greta Ell scored the equalizer as she ran unimpeded into the circle before firing it home.

The Wildcats kept the pressure turned up late as the team garnered three corners in a seven minute span, nearly scoring the winner on a Gerber deflection that was sent just wide of the right post.

Gerber avenged the near miss as she took a pass from Morgan Stone and found an open Aberle at the left post who then fired home the eventual-winner past the Redeemer keeper.

“Think about what we looked like now, compared to what we are going to look like in the next four or five weeks,’ Jennelle said. “It’s just going to get better. They’re nowhere near peaking yet, they are still figuring out who they are as players.’

“We just have to get some experience and keep up our intensity throughout the whole game,’ Montes added. “I was happy with our comeback.’


Lamb finished the game with 11 saves. … Gerber and Stone each finished with one assist. … OJR finished with 11 corners, but only capitalized on two. “The problem was the first half we could of taken time to hit anything we wanted,’ Jennelle said. “The second half they were flying out and we were trying to hit, instead of make the pass. It’s a little bit of a learning curve. These girls are all young.’

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