BROOKVILLE — Desperate for a win, the Brookville Lady Raiders looked to their leading scorer.
With time running out in regulation, senior striker Madison McAninch connected on a second breakaway attempt on a pass from Alayna Haight and beat Curwensville goalkeeper Maura Bunnell with 32 seconds on the clock for a 3-2 win Monday afternoon.
Losers of five straight which included a 5-2 loss to the Lady Tide back on Sept. 28, the Lady Raiders were thrilled to end the slide.
“When you step out on the field, it’s anyone’s game and just because they beat us 6-2 last time, doesn’t mean anything,” Lady Raiders head coach Kaitlyn Hill said. “We’ve seen other teams with some turnarounds and unexpected wins, so I told the girls it’s anyone’s game and that’s what we went off of.
Heading into the second half with the score tied at 1-1, the Lady Tide didn’t take long to dominate field position and cash in on Emma Rebar’s goal off a Tenleigh Bumbarger pass at the 35:25 mark.
But McAninch got behind the Lady Tide defense to tie the game at the 20:03 mark.
“We knew that shouldn’t have been the score, so they came with some fury in there and took it to them,” Hill said. “They played really good defense and Mac really capitalized on her opportunities.”
McAninch has scored 16 of her team’s 27 goals this year and has a hand, including two assists in last week’s 4-3 double-overtime loss to DuBois, in nine of Brookville’s last 12 goals over the past five games.
“We set up through Mac and she has a knack to know what position to get in to either set herself or a teammate up to get a scoring opportunity. She had some really nice small, little passes to herself that created some offense today. That’s what we’re looking for.”
In the first half, the Lady Raiders got the scoring started with Emily Kramer’s goal at the 23:28 mark, but Curwensville (9-6) tied it up almost four minutes later on Chloe Davis’s goal.
While the first half was more wide-open on both sides of the field, Curwensville came out of the halftime break and grabbed the lead on Rebar’s goal. But despite field position and possession heavily favoring Curwensville, it was Brookville that scored the final two goals.
“They had opportunities and we didn’t, but we capitalized on what we had a chance on,” Hill said.
Curwensville outshot Brookville, 14-7. Lady Raiders goalkeeper Jordan Cook made 11 saves. Bunnell made five stops for the Lady Tide.
“(My girls) definitely deserved to win,” said Hill, whose team improved to 4-10. “We haven’t found the back of the net against some other teams in games, but today they definitely deserved it. DuBois was an extremely tough loss last Tuesday and after that, they knew they had to do some work. We built off that and the girls knew if they want to keep playing soccer, we have to keep winning.”
Wednesday, the Lady Raiders hosted Ridgway before traveling to Punxsutawney Thursday. Next Monday and Wednesday, they close out the regular season with Forest Area on Senior Night at 5 p.m. and then a trip to St. Marys respectively.