Heat Wave and Force Play to 1-1 Tie
By Rick Stanton
On Sunday, September 30, 2012, the Hillsborough Heat Wave continued its Fall campaign with a 1-1 draw against the Matawan-Aberdeen Force in U13 Girls soccer action. Defense and speed are Heat Wave trademarks, and Sunday was no different. The game, played at the Hillsborough Municipal Complex, was a fast-paced physical game with the each team displaying excellent offensive attacks and strong defenses. Goalkeeper Tara Herterich, who has a 0.66 goals conceded per game average, defended the full game for the Heat Wave. From the opening whistle, both teams opened the game with an aggressive style of play. After a strong offensive push by Emily Lanahan and Alanna Ryan to start the game, the Force pushed the action back to the Heat Wave side of the field. In prior matches, the Force favored the left side when attacking the net. However, left defensive backs Tessa Norfleet and Kaitlyn Stanton, supported by center backs Cameron Howell and Olivia Panagos, consistently won the ball on the left sideline blunting the Force’s attack from the left side of the pitch, preventing the Force from doing any damage. Switching the field was no solution for the Force as Alison Watson, Arshia Arasappan and Marissa Osofsky challenged each attack and routinely won fifty-fifty balls in the middle and right side of the pitch.
At the 15th minute, with Heat Wave attacking with a strong series of pinpoint passes by forward Kendal Smith and midfielder Kristina Villanti led to a strong shot from Allie Benadon that was not handled cleanly by the Force goalie. As the ball was deflected to the left side of the frame forward Lanahan attacked but was stopped by a Force defense who knocked the ball out before Lanahan could finish and drive it home. A minute later, the Force countered on long direct kick leading to a rush on goal. But Herterich, came out of goal to make a diving stop before the Force striker could get off a shot.
At the 25 minute mark, Jessica Koval, who prowled the middle grass as all game, delivered a strike to Allie Benadon making a run down the right sideline. After eluding a Force defender, Benadon fired a shot from 15 yards to the upper left corner of the net for a 1-0 Heat Wave lead. The score stayed that way through the remainder of the period. In the second period, an unlucky clear from the middle of the pitch in the Heat Wave box lead to an open shot from 10 yards out to knot the score at 1-1 in the 48th minute. The last 10 minutes was no different from the first 60 minutes. Heat Wave continued to attack with a number of runs, but was unsuccessful in finishing against a strong Force goalkeeper. With the tie and following last week’s win against the Hunterdon United Storm, the Heat Wave remain undefeated for the season.