E.A. Sports Today

Wiedmer, Lady Falcons golden

Freshman’s goal in overtime lifts Donoho to key area soccer victory; Falcons’ boys rally

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Donoho girls soccer coach Jay Jenkins was talking just the other day about the importance of his team playing its remaining regular-season games close. This one might have been a little too close.

Freshman center midfielder Lily Wiedmer scored a golden goal 90 seconds into overtime Wednesday to give the Lady Falcons a 1-0 victory over Sacred Heart and the upper hand in their run for their area’s final playoff berth.

The win can less than 24 hours after an important victory over Glencoe and moved the Lady Falcons (7-2, 2-2) a half-game ahead of the Yellow Jackets (5-4, 2-3) with two area matches to play. They now hold a one-goal edge over the Jackets in the area goal-differential tiebreaker and are seven better overall.

“Our effort (Tuesday) night translated into a sluggish effort tonight, but like they’ve done all season, they managed to find a way,” Jenkins said. “They just keep finding a way. They keep amazing me.

“They were dead on their feet in that second half. We thoroughly controlled the game in the second half. We should have finished it a long time ago, but sometimes that’s just what happens in this. It’s kind of prophetic that we finished with a golden goal because, really, at this point, with goal differential, every goal for us is a golden goal.”

Donoho dominated the second half and missed several good chances to win the match in regulation, but feeling a sense of urgency it didn’t take long for the Lady Falcons to strike in overtime.

Sacred Heart defender Monique Oblique failed to clear a ball deep in her end, Wiedmer gained control and fired a shot past Cardinals keeper Megan Lott for her fifth goal of the year.

“With those 90 seconds we saw how close the game was to getting it out of our hands,” Wiedmer said. “In those (first) 80 minutes I think we thought that we had the game in our hands and we had nothing to worry about.

“But if we lost this game our playoff hopes are out the window; it was (win) this game or our season would be over. (Boys coach Matthew Wright) told me before I went out there to make something happen. There was a kick, she missed it, I dribbled in and scored a goal.”

The Lady Falcons still can’t relax. They play Westbrook Christian Friday and Sacred Heart again Tuesday; both matches are at home. Glencoe wraps up its area play against Sacred Heart Thursday.

Donoho boys 5, Sacred Heart 2

The Falcons were in trouble early, but rallied with five goals in the second half to remain in the driver’s seat for the second playoff spot in the area.

Mitchell Baker scored twice, while Noah Wright, Tej Patel and Shea Buckner added single goals. Patel and Bchuyler Buckner each had two assists.

“Sacred Heart came out with all the guns firing and really took it to us in the first half; they gave us all we could handle,” Donoho coach Matthew Wright said. “We really responded with some passionate and inspired soccer to take the win.”

The Cardinals dominated the first half and led 2-0 at the break. Trey Nichols opened the scoring with a blast from 25 yards out that was deflected by a Donoho defender into the goal, Alex Fernandez bent a free kick from 30 yards into the corner and Tucker Norman made several big saves to keep the Falcons off the board.

That changed in the second half as Donoho went to a more controlled possession-based attack. Wright and Patel scored to tie the game. Baker scored the next two goals to give the Falcons the lead and Shea Buckner closed the scoring on a shot from distance. Keeper Chandler Collins kept the Cardinals off the board in the second half.

Donoho returns to action Monday at Collinsville.

On the cover: Donoho freshman Lily Wiedmer goes over the details of her golden goal with coach Jay Jenkins.

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