BRISTOL - With the clock winding down in the second half, the St. Paul girls soccer team was looking for the tying goal, trailing Oxford 2-1.
Reagan Davis put in what looked to be the equalizer, but it was called off due to a penalty and the Falcons couldn’t get even as they fell by that 2-1 score to the Wolverines on Wednesday night.
“The ref said she clipped the defender’s heel when she stole the ball, but come on, as physical as this game was,” St. Paul head coach Jim Husbands lamented.
Davis scored the Falcons’ only goal in the game and her 10th of the season at the 22:01 mark in the first half to tie the game, 1-1.
The freshman standout for St. Paul tried to get free throughout the night, but the Oxford defenders were tough on her, not allowing much space.
“The defenders were so aggressive and they were very good at getting to through balls before I got to them,” Davis said. “And their goalie came out and stopped a few.”
The Wolverines’ first goal came off a corner kick that senior captain Molly Sastram put past Falcons goalkeeper Hannah Duffany.
Since taking over as the starting goalkeeper after the season-ending injury to sophomore All-State keeper Nina Zwolinski, Duffany has done an impressive job thrust into the spotlight. She finished with six saves in the game for St. Paul.
“She’s been a JV goalie for the last three years and she’s always kind of taking it that she’s never going to play, but we kept telling her she’s just an injury away from being our starter,” Husbands said. “And then when Nina went down, all of the sudden she realized she had to be the starter.”
St. Paul entered the second half tied 1-1.
The game-deciding goal by Oxford was off a misplayed ball by the Falcons, as Sarah Courtney picked up the ball and put it into the back of the net with 35:15 left in the game.
Opportunities for the Falcons were there, but they couldn’t catch a break with Davis and some other calls that went the other way.
Still, Husbands saw the chances for his team.
“I told the girls afterwards that you can’t let officials determine the outcome of the game, and unfortunately today we had two plays that I think were questionable, but we had other opportunities as well. It’s not that those two were our only opportunites to score.”
With the loss, St. Paul fell to 3-8 on the season and with five games remaining on its schedule is hoping to qualify for the NVL tournament and the Class S tournament, something this year’s senior class has done every year.
Oxford moved to 7-4.