Although it wasn’t a victory, Western Hills coach Mike Toncray had to admire how the Lady Wolverines played in the last eight minutes.
Sayre’s Katherine Johnson gave the assist to Laney Helmers for a 2-1 lead with 11:28 remaining in the game. But the Lady Wolverines didn’t let it get them down as senior Hayley Greenwell tapped in a pass from junior Maria Conway for the score with 1 minute left.
Greenwell’s goal in the final minute of the game earned the Lady Wolverines a 2-2 draw with Sayre.
“Considering we were behind and we came back, I am very pleased,” Toncray said. “The last two games we’ve come from behind.
“The last eight minutes were awesome. Hayley and Maria worked really well together tonight and they proved that by scoring the last goal in the last minute.”
The only disappointment came from not putting the effort together sooner, Greenwell said.
“If we would have played like we did the last minute the whole second half, it would have been a completely different game,” she said. “We would’ve won easily. We didn’t want to lose, so we stepped up. Both times they scored and went ahead, we stepped up and we reacted instead of setting the tone.”
The Lady Wolverines (2-1-1) had to play from behind throughout the game, including when Johnson launched a shot from the left side of the goal over WHHS goalkeeper MacKenzie Jones into the far right corner with 33 minutes to play in the first half.
Western Hills tied the score 1-1 when Conway sent a cross to freshman Sadie Taylor with 22:10 left in the half.
The Lady Wolverines dominated the possession at the beginning of the second half, but had a setback when the Lady Spartans (1-2-2) slipped through the WHHS defenders.
With 11:28 remaining in the game, Johnson took a shot at the goal which Jones tried to save but lost her grip on the ball. With the ball away from Jones’ body, Helmers tapped it in for a 2-1 Lady Spartan advantage.
“I knew we had to do something,” Greenwell said. “We had to step up. I was getting really frustrated with my play and with the team as a whole.”
But as the clock started to inch closer to the end, Greenwell said her teammates couldn’t bear to take a loss.
“Maria played a perfect pass right through the defenders,” she said. “I got that one step on that girl and hit it in. Maria’s ball was perfect. I just had to take one step and touch it in.
“It feels good. I know it is a tie, but it still feels like a loss because of how we played. I’m glad it wasn’t a loss though.”
Jones was goalkeeper for the Lady Wolverines, and Emma Johnson was in goal for the Lady Spartans.
WHHS plays 7:30 p.m. Monday at Woodford County.
“If they play like they did in the last eight minutes, I think they have a real good chance against Woodford,” Toncray said. “It’s Woodford County and a district game, let’s hope our girls are ready. It is going to be a good contest. I think they’re ranked No. 15 in the state. Hills will have to step up.”
To see a photo gallery from this game, click here.