KISSIMMEE, FL – One goal was all it took for Cairn to defeat Maranatha, who nearly scored seconds before the end of regulation on a disallowed direct kick by freshman midfielder Courtney Dunn (Oshkosh, WI), but ultimately lost to the sixth seed in the tournament on Friday evening.
Cairn controlled possession and came out fast in the opening minutes of the first period, but Maranatha gained control and penetrated multiple times into Cairn territory with shots from sophomores Harmony Lorch (Aurora, CO) and Olivia Doerstling (Lantana, TX) that were turned away.
Doerstling also had a chance six seconds before the close of the half on a blocked shot, but Maranatha and Cairn remained at a 0-0 stalemate headed into the half.
Maranatha continued solid possession into the second period that resulted in shots by Dunn, and Audrey Risma (Fort Collins, CO), who nearly put the Crusaders on the board.
But on the 63rd minute, Cairn’s Alicia Curry (Perkiomenville, PA) cut through the defense, and buried a shot into the net, past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Michala Marino (Grand Blanc, MI), for the 1-0 lead.
The Crusaders did not back down though, controlling play for a majority of the half and nearly scoring on several attempts, one, a header attempt by Risma that went just left of the net, and the other, a cross from Doerstling to freshman forward Natashca Vinz (Cheboygan, MI) that just eked over the crossbar.
But perhaps Maranatha’s best chance was Dunn’s direct kick with just under five seconds left in regulation. Despite her attempts to get the shot off in time, Dunn kicked the ball just after time expired, only to watch the ball enter the back of the net.
Dunn was perhaps the best player on the field throughout the game, finishing with six shots, with one on goal.
Maranatha and Cairn were evenly matched throughout the game, with Maranatha taking 14 shots to Cairn’s 17 on the night as the Crusaders finished with seven shots on goal.
Maranatha has a quick turnaround before their next game, which is on Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. EST against #5 Ohio Christian University, a team they beat earlier in the season, 3-2 in double overtime.