By Lisa Byers
Conneaut’s game plan going into its Region 3 girls soccer contest against Iroquois on Wednesday was to push the ball up the outside and cross it over. And for the first 40 minutes, that is exactly what the Eagles did.
Then came the rain and a little taste of déjà vu.
Earlier this season against Iroquois, the Eagles took a 1-0 lead into halftime. But within the first five minutes of the second half, the Braves not only erased that deficit with a game-tying goal a minute-and-a-half in, but added a second score just over three minutes later to take the lead for good.
On Wednesday, the Lady Eagles executed their plan to near perfection on offense, but they were unable to spot themselves a lead going into the break. The start of the second half, however, was nearly identical to that of the previous meeting.
Iroquois scored with 37:51 to play in the second half and added a second score with 34:26 remaining on its way to a 3-0 win over the Eagles at Conneaut Area Senior High School.
Conneaut fell to 1-12-1 overall and 1-7-1 in Region 3. Iroquois improved to 7-3-2 overall and 6-2-2 in the region.
“This time we didn’t have the lead, but both times it was, ‘Hey, we’re happy. We’re playing well.’ Because it’s been a tough year,” Conneaut coach Brian Kebort said. “It’s just really odd to see it happen nearly identically.
“We played so well. We’re looking good. And just like that ... two goals.”
It certainly was a tale of two halves for a variety of reasons. The first half was played under sunshine, though the temperature was brisk. Just as the second half was about to start, the rain began to fall. Moments later, the wind picked up. And by mid-second half, the sky was filled with a bright rainbow that looked as though it was sitting right on school grounds.
“That was probably one of the worst games as far as weather that I’ve ever been a part of,” Kebort said. “Wind, cold, rain ...”
Whatever the case, it seemed to light a fire under Iroquois.
“It equalizes everything,” Iroquois coach Don Ferri said of the weather. “Anything can happen. Mistakes are easily done.
“It was a good game. They stuck in there and remained focused. Both teams did really.”
Ferri said his team usually performs better after it scores its initial goal.
“They score a goal and they’re golden,” he said.
The goal, in that case, that set the Braves off came off the foot of Mikayla Cagnoli on an assist by Courtney Herget and proved to be the game winner.
Brooke Argency added goal No. 2. The third goal was scored with 20:46 to play on a penalty kick by Herget.
Iroquois goalie Morgan Stetson made three saves in goal. Conneaut keeper Laurel Shrum had eight saves.