By BRIAN CUNNIFF
ERMA — The Wildwood Catholic and Lower Cape May Regional high school girls soccer teams each took turns controlling Thursday evening’s game played under the lights on the Tigers’ football field.
Most of the reason for the spells of domination were related to the high winds that whipped across the field from west to east.
Jordan Dougherty’s opener gave Lower Cape May a lead midway through the first half. Marianna Papazoglou equalized for the Crusaders about 10 minutes later.
“Overall the kids played hard,” Lower coach Brett Matthews said. “Whoever had the wind had the advantage. It was a good, competitive game. A tie kind of stinks but when it’s all said and done that’s probably what should have come out of this game.”
The second half and the first period of extra time were played mostly in the Lower Cape May defensive end as Wildwood Catholic bombed balls forward with the wind at its back. But while the Crusaders created dangerous chances through Papazoglou, Ivy Bolle and Gwen Orlowicz, Wildwood Catholic couldn’t conjure up with a finish as Lower Cape May goalkeeper Kiara Soto was equal to the task.
“This is exactly the kind of game we thought it would be,” Wildwood Catholic coach Kara Saunders said. “The girls put it all out on the field. We just couldn’t get more than one in the back of the net. We had opportunities and it just didn’t happen.”
Dougherty and Chloe Lawler proved to be difficult for the Crusader defense. The pair helped Lower create two corner-kick chances late in regulation but Wildwood Catholic (7-5-3) stood tall to prevent a goal. Lawler also had a shot from the left side of the penalty area deflected just wide of the far post in the final 10 minutes.
Lower Cape May moved to 3-13-1 with the draw.
Orlowicz got off a quality shot from the middle of the penalty area on a Riley Kane corner kick during the first period of extra time, only to see Lower Cape May defender Hadden Miller clear the shot off the line at the left post.
“We scrimmaged Lower and it ended in a tie,” Saunders said with a laugh. “So I guess it’s not a surprise that this one did, too.”