Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
Langenkamp with game-winner
By Gary R. Rasberry
Celina's Eryn Langenkamp, 32, streaks between Elida defenders on the way to the. . .
FINDLAY - It appeared that a tie would be en vogue as Celina and Elida met for the second time this season.
The first time the teams met, Celina got a goal in the closing moments of the game to salvage a 1-all tie, which allowed Celina to move on toward a Western Buckeye League title.
At the Division I girl's soccer sectional on Monday, the match was scoreless for the first 60 minutes of the game before quick thinking led to victory for Celina.
Eryn Langenkamp's recovery rebound of her first attempt at goal went in, allowing Celina to advance with a 1-0 win over Elida at Graham Soccer Stadium in Findlay.
Celina (13-3-2) advances to Wednesday's district semifinal match at Findlay at 7 p.m. against the host Findlay Trojans, who beat Wapakoneta in the second match 4-0. Early in the season, Findlay beat Celina 2-1 at Celina Soccer Stadium.
The flow of Monday's game was tremendous. There were very few off-side calls and both teams handled the ball and defended well.
"That's the kind of game that, not only fans, but coaches like to see," said Celina coach Calvin Freeman. "All-out 80 minutes of great soccer."
Both teams were able to get decent looks at the goal throughout the game. With 17 minutes left in the first half, Shelbi Nation's open shot at the goal just carried over the top of the net.
With three minutes left, Erin Thomas, who scored the lone Elida goal in the first meeting, took a direct kick after a Celina foul. The kick just sailed over the goal to keep the match scoreless after 40 minutes.
In a span of 30 seconds in the second half, both teams had what looked to be big scores ricochet off the cross bar. With 26:10 to go, Thomas clanked the bar. Alanna Remy was near the rebound and headed the ball, only to have Celina keeper Allison Braun make the save.
Seconds later, Langenkamp, who had several sprints near the Elida goal earlier in the match, got free again and put the shot up. Again, the ball hit the cross bar and was saved by Jessie Kluge.
Langenkamp, however, was undeterred. With the clock nearing the 19-minute mark, Langenkamp got another breakaway. Langenkamp got the shot off as she was taken down by Kluge, who came out to make the save. The ball bounced away from Kluge as the Elida defense came back to protect the goal from the coming Celina players. Langenkamp, noticing the loose ball, quickly got up and kicked a slow roller into the goal with 18:59 remaining in the match.
"I saw the opening and just took it," said Langenkamp. "It seemed to be going in slow motion for me because there was a defender right there. It happened to make it in."
"That came real close, in my opinion, to being the Play of the Year," said Freeman. "I have never seen anything like that in the years that I've been doing (coaching) this. Go down after the goalie takes you out, get up and pop it into an open goal. Just unbelievable, all in one motion. Unreal."
After the goal, the Celina defense, tough already, turned up the pressure. The main objective was not to let anyone, especially Thomas or Marianne Conrad, get behind the Celina defense on a breakaway. Elida took just seven shots on goal in the game.
"As far as I remember, they only had two (breakaways)," said Freeman. "We concentrated on the defensive game. It kind of hurt on the offensive end a little bit, but we scored when we needed, and we only needed one, thank goodness.
"It was an even-played game. Elida came ready to play. They played well and played hard. At no time did they give up. They were just out there to play. It was an awesome game. It was a great win for us."