"It feels like you get punched right in the gut. But I guess that's part of sports."
Just as they did in the Sept. 20 game in Millerstown, the Eagles took the fight to Greenwood, trying to slow the Wildcats' desired pace with physical play. Line Mountain back Savannah Copson earned the first of three cards issued in the game just 7 minutes in, shortly before Lagerman's ice-breaking goal. With about 7 minutes left in the half, play was stopped while the officials warned both teams against playing the body rather than the ball.
"I really wasn't prepared for how physical it was at all," said Wildcats senior forward Brittany Fleisher. "If anything, it made me want to play more intense. To see how much the other team was fighting, we just wanted to put up as much of a fight as they did."
Lauren Fried tied the game with 4:19 left in the half. Mallory Fortenbaugh knocked a ball in front of the cage and Fried let it settle for a split-second before drilling it into the right side.
Then, about 90 seconds into the second half, Fleisher whipped a shot that got Eagles keeper Colleen Troutman to drop for a save. After a brief scramble, Fortenbaugh slammed home the rebound for a 2-1 lead.
"At halftime that's what we talked about, that we'd have to be physically tough in this game," said Greenwood coach Kent Houser. "This wasn't going to be a cute game; there was no pretty out there. That was both teams getting after it, and I think both teams need to be admired for the good, tough play it was."
The Wildcats earned 10 of their 14 corners in the second half, and it took a Paige Adams' defensive save at the mouth of the cage with 15:25 left to keep it a one-goal game.