St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO) entered Thursday’s game against CCSC SOL (FL) needing a result to still have a chance at the national title following a day one loss. After falling behind in the first half, the team battled back to claim a 2-1 victory over the Region III champs.
"I told the girls after the game yesterday that you have to have a short memory," said St. Louis Scott Gallagher coach Kirk Moser." Every game can still make a difference, and we still had the chance to play Sunday. The result today certainly helps and we like where we are heading into the last game."
Much like its first game of the week, St. Louis Scott Gallagher started the game with a flurry of chances, including a strike off the crossbar. CCSC weathered the storm and 30 minutes into the game, Theresa Diederich (Alabama) coolly finished a 1 v 1 with the keeper after beating an offside trap to claim a 1-0 lead over St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
The Region II champs showed resilience and repeatedly created chances in the attacking third and missed a sitter at the back post in the 65th minute to level. Just two minutes later, Maritza Hayes (Nebraska) won the ball in the back and started a string of possession that culminated with Abbey Stock (St. Louis) finding Lauren Flynn (Drake) on a deep diagonal ball for the equalizer.
"We’ve had a couple tough bounces. Yesterday and today started much the same, hitting a cross bar and a couple close calls. In regionals those go in and we have a couple goal lead. For whatever reason, in our first game and first half here today we weren’t getting those breaks," Moser said. "I’m not sure why, but even though we were down 1-0 in the second half, it felt like we had them against the ropes. CCSC is a great team, but for whatever reason we believed and we kept pressing. It was either, well, we’re going to finally get our breaks and things will go our way or they won’t. In the second half we finally broke through and I’m really happy for our girls."
With less than 10 minutes to play, Kelsey Dinges (Miami-Ohio) struck a low, driven shot into the far post side netting to lift her team to victory and keep the hopes of a national title alive. With the loss, CCSC needs a big result and lots of help on the final day for a title shot.
"When you make it here, you’re going to see great players and great teams every day" CCSC head coach Luis Torres said. "I thought we actually played better today than yesterday, but one up is a tough lead to preserve. But things can happen and hopefully tomorrow we can come back and win and then we’ll see. I mean, we still have a shot—there are a lot of possibilities."