It took slightly more than two minutes for the Pine Bush girls’ soccer team to take advantage of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s new overtime procedures.
Junior captain Deirdre Meberg buried a shot just inside the top right corner of the goal 2:11 into overtime, breaking a 1-1 tie and propelling Pine Bush to a 2-1 victory over the Washingtonville Wizards on Friday at Washingtonville High School.
“It was really insane,” Meberg said. “My last game, I did not play as well as I know I can. So, the fact that I kept my composure in the box and scored was incredible.”
If this game had been played as recently as last season, the two teams would have had to play two 10-minute overtime periods, even if a goal were scored 2:11 into the first. But the NYSPHSAA changed the format so that the first goal wins.
It caused a change in approach.
“We went as hard as we could because we knew we didn’t have to concern ourselves for the second overtime,” Meberg said.
It took most of the first half for anyone to get on the scoreboard, but Pine Bush’s Ava Boffalo got them on the board when she dribbled past Washingtonville goalkeeper Savanna Troast for a 1-0 lead.
The Wizards evened things up in the second half when Washingtonville’s Gracie Drenth put an arcing shot just over the reach of Pine Bush goalkeeper Grace Druke as the ball hit her hands and continued into the goal.
“Usually we go down when we get scored on, but this time I think we upped our intensity and I think we controlled the rest of the second half,” Meberg said.
Pine Bush had its best chance to take the lead in regulation when Meberg fed a pass to Boffalo on a breakaway, putting her one-on-one with Troast for the second time in the game. However, as Boffalo tried to get her shot around Troast, it rolled out of bounds wide right.
“We had one or two shots in the second half that she saved and sort of skipped to the side, and she recovered on,” Pine Bush coach Dan Conley said. “We had two breakaways that we decided to turn into passes instead of shots, but she’s a really good keeper. This division’s got really good keepers. It’s not going to be a 5-4 or 6-5 game. It’s going to be 1-0 or 2-1 like it was today.”
Pine Bush is a team that has grown up on the varsity level over the past two seasons and is showing signs that it may be coming of age. Even with some experience, they only have three seniors – Julia Corin, Tiffany Hofman and Amanda Watkins.
They’ve won three of their first four games. Their only loss was a 3-0 defeat to defending Section 9 Class AA champion Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders. Their win over Washingtonville gives them their first victory in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association Division II.