Norwin girls get past Franklin Regional in overtime
Micayla Livingston might only be a freshman, but she has already become an impact player for the Norwin girls soccer team.
And the Knights needed all the impact they could get in the first of their two meetings this season with Franklin Regional.
Livingston scored her sixth goal in as many games when she snuck a shot past Franklin Regional (5-2-0, 4-1-0) goalkeeper Kristen Moore at 2:11 of overtime to give Norwin (5-0-1, 3-0-0) a 2-1 victory over the Panthers.
“In the first two minutes of overtime, we had two opportunities, and we were bound to get one eventually,” Norwin coach Jeff Palm said. “Luckily, it went in.”
It was also a somewhat controversial goal.
Livingston came down the right side, broke into the box and snapped a quick shot at the right post that Moore appeared to smother. But the referee on the left side of the field signaled the ball had gotten past her, went over the goal line and that the Panthers netminder had pulled it out.
“She said her shoulder was on the line, and she thought the referee had a bad angle. But hey, he's the referee, and he makes the call,” Franklin Regional coach Rich Garland said. “Norwin is one of the teams that we really want to compete against, and I was really pleased with the level of play. We competed with them, so it's going to be nice to see them at their place.”
Prior to the goal being scored, Moore made several impressive stops from point-blank range, one on Livingston just 1:01 into the overtime and one on senior forward Rachel DelleFemine just 31 seconds later. Instead of turning away and pulling back, however, Norwin continued to press the attack before Livingston finally capitalized.
“We seem to be a really good second half team and most of our games so far, we've been a little slow coming out,” Palm said. “But they flip a switch and they turn it on in the second half.”
Considering the way the two teams were playing in the first 30 minutes, it appeared Franklin Regional might have gotten the only goal it would need with 9:58 remaining in the first half.
Franklin Regional forward Courtney Hanchey broke down the right wing side of the pitch, and just as she hit the top of the box, Norwin goalkeeper Cayla Imbarlina streaked out of the net to challenge the ball. Imbarlina was called for a foul on the play and the Panthers were given a penalty kick.
Imbarlina went back into the net, but she couldn't stop the shot by Franklin Regional striker Jacqueline Cepicka, who drove the ball just inside the left post at shoulder height for the opening goal to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Before Franklin Regional had an opportunity to tighten its defense, Norwin answered with a goal of its own.
On the Knights, next trip down the field, a player was fouled on the right football sideline near the 20-yard line ,and the team was given a direct free kick. Norwin set up its entire attack on the left side of the box, and when DelleFemine hit a rolling shot into the box, senior Brea Bolden chipped it past Moore at 31:35 to tie the game, 1-1, which was how it stayed through the intermission.
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.