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Burrell girls soccer gets section win over Springdale

Michael Love
| Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, 11:12 p.m.

The Burrell girls soccer team called upon its patience and perseverance Monday during its Section 2-AA game with rival Springdale at Buccaneer Stadium.

The Bucs held the possession and scoring-chance advantages through the first 60-plus minutes, but they trailed by a goal.

Skylar Dale changed that as the game moved into the final 10 minutes of regulation. The junior tied the score with 8 minutes, 26 seconds left and gave Burrell the lead five minutes later.

Kelly Blankenbicker added an insurance tally with 1:16 left to finish a 3-1 victory.

“We got the first one and then just had so much momentum,” Dale said. “We're a better second-half team, and we have to fix that before playoffs. It was very frustrating when we had good chances but weren't able to get the ball in the net.”

The Bucs and Dynamos came into the game tied for second place in the section behind unbeaten Freeport. Springdale captured a 1-0 victory when the teams met at Springdale on Sept. 9.

“That win was huge for the girls in terms of redeeming themselves after the first game,” Burrell coach Shelby Noll said.

“It also really set the tone for the rest of our week. We have big games with Highlands (Wednesday) and Deer Lakes (Saturday) coming up.”

The Bucs moved into sole possession of second in the section standings at 5-3, and the Dynamos dipped to 4-4.

Deer Lakes topped Highlands, 2-1, on Monday to up its section mark to 4-3-1, and East Allegheny was shut out by Freeport, 2-0, to fall to 3-4-1.

Burrell held a 6-0 shot advantage through the first 20 minutes. Springdale's first shot came late in the first half.

Junior Jade Vrabel put Springdale ahead 1-0 with 17:01 left in the second half.

A grouping of players from both teams, including Burrell keeper Ally Klems, raced to a loose ball about 30 yards from the Bucs goal. The ball squirted away from the scrum and to the feet of Vrabel, who put it in the back of the net.

Vrabel had missed a wide-open net about six minutes earlier.

The drama increased as Springdale started to drop back into more of a defensive stance, and Burrell ramped up its offensive pressure.

While Dale's first goal was at close range, her second one came from 32 yards as she lofted a ball that arced into the net over the outstreched arms of Dynamos junior keeper Rylie Patterson.

“Burrell was coming at us for a good portion of the game, and we did a pretty good job of withstanding that,” Springdale coach Jerry Concannon said.

Concannon said a personnel adjustment caused a change in formation. He said the girls responded well to that change.

“We were able to counterattack a little bit and get some chances,” he said. “Luckily, one went in. Then we tried to hold on while Burrell was bringing a lot of energy. We just weren't able to.”

Noll said Blankenbicker's goal gave the Bucs an opportunity to exhale.

“We always remind the girls to keep pushing, no matter what happens,” Noll said. “If you mess up, forget about that play, move on and focus on the next play. The girls did that (Monday), and good things happened for them.”

Burrell finished the game with 16 shots to five for Springdale. Of those shots, nine for the Bucs were on goal, and three were on goal for the Dynamos.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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