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Scheme change gives CHS share of region crown

Posted: April 20, 2017 11:46 a.m.
Updated: April 21, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

CAMDEN’S BROOKE GALDEEN CONTROLS the ball while being chased by Indian Land’s Abby Curry (24) and Abby Waldo (18) in Tuesday’s 3-1 CHS win at Zemp Stadium. The victory gave the Lady Bulldogs a share of the Region 4-AAA championship, along with Indian Land.

In the days between his team’s 5-0 loss to Indian Land on March 21 and the time leading up to Tuesday night’s rematch at Zemp Stadium, Camden High girls soccer coach Aaron Mayes and assistant coach Kenny Galdeen broke down what went wrong in the first match of the season against their conference rival.

Their evaluation was that three Lady Warrior players did all the damage that night in Lancaster County. That being the case, the Lady Bulldog brain trust wanted to turn the second pairing into an 8-on-8 affair.

Camden rolled that set of dice and it came up three and one as the hostesses earned a share of the Region 4-AAA championship with a 3-1 home field victory. 

By virtue of its advantage in goal differential between the two teams, which closed league play with identical 7-1 records, IL will get the region top seed for the AAA Upper State tournament which opens Monday, May 1.

Camden, 13-1 in non-tournament play, is expected to host Chapman in the tourney opener.

The Lady Bulldogs received what was the game-winning goal when senior co-captain Brooke Galdeen took a throw-in and dribbled through and past IL defenders before sending a five-yard shot to the back of the net in the 23rd minute for a 2-1 lead.

A Chloe Grein goal in the 59th minute, along with a stellar night between the posts from freshman netminder Mary Caston Morgan, helped seal the deal for the Lady Bulldogs.

Mayes, whose team will receive a region championship trophy to add to the trophy case, said limiting the damage inflicted by the Lady Warriors’ trio of top players paid off handsomely on this night.

“Looking back at the first game,” he said, “we sort of realized that they had three solid players who kind of made them go. Our goal tonight was to try and take out those three players with three of ours and make it an 8-on-8 game. We felt our eight were better than their eight.”

What could not be dismissed from the first meeting was that Indian Land was able to shut Camden out and when senior midfielder and team co-captain Shan Woody sent a shot past IL goalkeeper Emma Thompson in the opening three minutes of play, it sent a surge of momentum through the home side’s bench. Woody’s quick goal did more than just that, her coach said.

“I don’t think it was settling down that we needed,” Mayes said. “It was just that confidence.

“We played them twice last year, knowing that we were going to be in the same region, and we lost 6-0 last year and then, 5-0 this year. Seeing a goal going into the net was huge for our confidence and seeing that it (a win) was possible.”

The Lady Warriors struck back in the form of midfielder C.C. Thompson who found a crease in the Camden defense and evened things with a goal in the ninth minute.

Some four minutes later, Galdeen’s goal put Camden on top for keeps but not for the Lady Warriors’ lack of trying.

The ball stayed on the visitors’ end of the field for most of the final 13 minutes of the first half and into the early stages of the second half as CHS was put on the defensive with Morgan being the anchor. Indian Land’s ability to control the ball and the pace of play did nothing for Mayes’ nerves.

“We really got it taken to us for about 20 to 30 minutes,” Mayes said. “The ultimate equalizer in soccer is if you have a really good goalie, it doesn’t really matter how you’re playing in the field. Even though they got a lot of shots, there really weren’t many good opportunities. They were shooting from 20 to 30 yards out which I feel confident with Mary Caston against anybody.”

For all of the Lady Warriors’ time having the ball, it was Camden which made the most of its chances. The goal the Lady Bulldogs needed was supplied by Grein, a sophomore forward, who worked her way toward the middle of the box and sent a shot past Horton for a two-goal advantage.

“I actually got to breathe for about the first time in 60 minutes,” Mayes said of Grein’s goal. “After that, we packed it in … parked the bus, for lack of a better term.”

Mayes said he kept one eye on the game clock and another on the action on the field following the third goal and smiled in saying that he thought time was being added on rather than the clock closing in on zeros. “I looked up and I thought three or four minutes might have been gone instead of 30 or 40 seconds,” he said.

The Lady Bulldogs were still not out of the woods, yet.

In the 57th minute, Camden was called for a handball which occurred inside the goal area which gave the visitors a penalty kick. Kailee Erwin took the shot which clanged off the left post and ricocheted back onto the field. The rebound was gathered in by a Lady Warrior whose shot from point-blank range to snagged by Morgan.

“That would have definitely changed things,” Mayes said as to IL’s having the chance to cut the lead to a goal following a call which he did not agree with at the time. “

“It was kind of a basketball saying that, ‘the ball don’t lie.’ I didn’t think it was worthy of a penalty kick to begin with and the ball agreed with us.”

Having had little success against Indian Land in the recent past made this victory even sweeter, said Mayes, who shouldered the blame for his team’s having to share a region championship and enter the playoffs as a second seed.

“That’s a fantastic win,” he said. “If we would have coached a little better in the first game, we might have had a first seed for the playoffs.”

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