Lady Leopards Knot West Branch to Clinch Share of 1st NBC Title
Louisville 1, West Branch 1
Rachel Baughman scored a goal with 2:36 left in the 1st half to give Louisville the lead, but Haley Davis tied the game with a West Branch goal in the second half to wreck the party. The 1-1 tie at Louisville Leopards Stadium Wednesday Night did allow the Lady Leopards to clinch a share of their first ever league title.
A defensive battle broke out until late in the first half. Goalie Becca Springman, who finished with 6 saves on the evening, had several stops in the first 40 minutes. However, for the better part of the night the ball stayed between the penalty boxes as Louisville out-shot West Branch 13-8 for the game.
Late in the first half, Louisville’s Sami Keefe headed a West Branch goal kick towards teammate Devin Kring who took possession. Kring dribbled and then sent the ball back over to Keefe. Keefe then delivered a a lead pass down the left side of the field to Baughman. She took control and then dribbled behind a defender before angling the ball into the left side of the net for the score. The score was Baughman’s 30th of the season and she joins Carley Adams (32 goals – 2008) as the only other Lady Leopards to enter the 30 goal club.
More defense continued to open the beginning of the second half. Kring, Kelly Miller, and Tara Stevens had pickpockets defensively. West Branch also played great defense in stopping a few Leopards scoring threats. Lauren Martig finished with 10 saves in the box for the Warriors.
Then, the air was sucked out of Louisville Leopards Stadium at the 19:17 mark of the second half. West Branch’s Toni Dickinson sneaked a pass through the Louisville defense giving Davis a point-blank shot in the goal box. Davis buried the ball into the left side of the net and just like that the game was tied 1-1.
The Warriors seized the momentum and pushed ahead for the potential winning score about 8 minutes later. But, Springman deflected the Warrior free kick and Jessica Hamsher kicked the ball out of danger in the goal box to preserve the tie.
The Leopards had a flurry of offense towards the end of the game, but The Jungle cringed as they watched two separate Louisville shots deflect off the goal post. The PA Announcer counted down to zero and the game ended with the first Leopards tie in two seasons (2-2 at Minerva on October 6, 2010).
Although the West Branch fans were elated, the tie ended their chance at winning the NBC for 2012. Ironically, the deflated Leopards had preserved at least a share of the NBC title at 5-0-1 in the NBC and 12-2-1 overall. A win or tie at Alliance October 10 will give Louisville the conference title outright.
Don’t forget to Subscribe to Our Posts for Free
LEOPARDS 1, WARRIORS 1
Halftime: L, 1-0 Goals: (L) Baughman, (WB) Davis Assists: NA
Shots on Goal: L, 13-8. Corner Kicks: L, 4-1,Saves: WB Martig (4); L Springman (6)
Records: Louisville 12-2-1, 5-0-1; West Branch: 5-6-3, 3-1-2
UP NEXT: The Lady Leopards will conclude the regular season at Alliance next week on Wednesday, October 10. A win or tie against the Aviators will give Louisville the NBC outright.
We love when you use our photos on Facebook! Be sure like our Leopard Nation Fan Page and tag us in the picture description!