The NA Tigers went on the road to take on their rivals the Pine Richland Rams for their first section match of the season. NA started out the first five minutes of the match with a flurry of activity in front of the Pine Richland goal putting the Rams on their heels early. But it wasn’t until the 28 minute mark in the first half that Hannah Kirkpatrick was able to spring Alex Adams free on a counter attack which she finished to put the Tigers ahead 1-0. As the first half continued, the Rams began to apply heavy offensive pressure on the Tigers. Pine Richland held a 5 to 1 advantage in corner kicks over Tigers. NA goal keeper Madison Vukas had an amazing diving save at the mid way point of the first half to keep the Tigers in the lead. Two minutes later, Isabella Pietropola fed a pass to Ava Ruppersberger who hit a powerful shot 25 yards out from goal past the Pine Richland keeper to stretch the Tiger lead to 2-0. As the half wound down, Vukas continued to stand on her head. She had two back to back saves inside the NA penalty area to preserve the NA lead at the half.
While the Tigers had the advantage on the scoreboard to start the 2nd half, it was the Rams that out possessed the Tigers for much of the 2nd period. The Rams ability to possess the ball led to Pine Richland holding an 8-1 advantage in shots on goal over NA. Madison Vukas continued to shut the door on the Rams attack with another diving save and a couple of back to back high saves pushing balls over the NA crossbar. Eventually the Rams were able to break down the Tigers with a give and go passing combination in the box to cut the Tigers lead in half with 15 minutes left in the game. A few minutes later the Rams were able to add a second goal and tie the match 2-2. The Tiger defense clamped down during the final 10 minutes of regulation to force the match to overtime. Coach Kelley rotated a back line of Caroline Noel, Jetta Kroll, Riley Miara, Natalie Muddand Tulasi Syamala that proved to be very physical and stood strong against the Rams attack.
The first ten minutes of the overtime was fairly even play with the Rams holding a slight edge in shots on goal 2 to 1 over the Tigers but the scored remained knotted at 2-2.
The second overtime period began with NA defending deep in their own end to start the play. But with just 1:50 gone in the 2nd OT, Emma Bundy sprung Alex Adams with a long counter attack pass. Alex beat two Rams defenders from mid field and finished the play by beating the Pine Richland keeper for a 3-2 OT section victory.
Up next, the Tigers will be back home at Newman Stadium to play their second section match of the season vs. Shaler this Saturday.