Bri Carlson’s late goal forges Carmel tie with St Viator
Updated: April 13, 2012 10:31PM
Bri Carlson was happy to gallop up on her white horse and snatch a tie from the jaws of a looming loss on Friday night.
The Carmel junior scored a goal with three minutes left to play that forced a 1-1 tie with visiting St. Viator, in a game that carried weighty ramifications in the hunt for this year’s East Suburban Catholic Conference title.
The game-tying goal began with a Meegan Johnston throw-in in the game’s 77th minute, which Ashley Orth flicked to Carlson, who buried it near post from eight yards out.
“Meegan had a great throw, Ashley had a perfect flick, and I was right there,” Carlson said. “The conference is important to us, and now it’s still up for grabs.”
Both Carmel (6-2-1) and St. Viator (5-2-1) are now 2-0-1 in ESCC play. The conference title has been shared in three of the past five seasons among four different teams.
Lions’ junior Chloe Luthringhausen punctuated a night spent racing up the outside with a first-half goal, for a Viator team that played good soccer throughout the contest.
“We played a new formation that’s new to us, but we came into this game with a lot of confidence,” Luthringhausen said. “Coach [Mike Taylor] wants us to keep the ball more and work it around the back, and we came out strong.”
Viator goalkeeper Morgan Hess made two pivotal saves early on, sliding and extending her leg to get a big toe on a Carmel shot and then saving again at the post on a second good scoring chance for the Corsairs.
Mid-way through the first half, St. Viator began to earn more of the ball and that trend continued deep into the second half.
“I thought we had the better of play for two-thirds of that ballgame, and then we give up a goal on a set piece,” Lions coach Mike Taylor said. “But we played well. We got around the outsides and attacked well. We just have to stop having mental lapses on set pieces because we’ve defended very well in the run of play.”
Luthringhausen, Megan McCollum, and Maria Petrillo wreaked havoc on the outside all night in the Lions’ attack. Carmel’s Sarah McHugh-led backline and keeper Katie Larson kept Viator from finding too many good looks on net, despite the Lions’ possession advantage.
“They’re always good but we never gave up on the game,” McHugh said. “A tie is always better than a loss and now we still have a chance to win the conference.”