The last regular season game arrived on a nice warm October evening in Lancaster Ohio. Your Purple Footies faced their old nemesis the Lancaster Golden Gales on newly refurbished Fulton Field. Each squad was looking to add luster and in the case of the Gales celebrate their seniors. Appropriate fanfare saw flowers presented to the eight Raider seniors.
Formation called for 2 strikers Cassidy Collins and Kendall Craiglow, three mids Isa Fuentes, Ry Buck and Katie Hatcher. Julia Bazley was ensconced as holding mid in front of Alexis Langwasser, Mary-Kate Watkins, Polly Atrium and Sydney Frydl. Alissa Richmond was keeper.
Emphasis was placed upon moving the Gales’s center backs and creating gaps with ball movement not solely long ball based. The opening action proved the effectiveness. Chances were realized but Gale keeper Kayla Weaver managed parries and an empty net. Ten minutes had expired with push counter push before Cassidy Collins was able to gain advantage on the right flank. Cassidy knocked her cross in finding Isa Fuentes rushing to the top of the D. Isa whistled in her shot and the Raiders were up one. RHS 1 LHS 0
Six minutes later Ry Buck playing a new spot as center mid secured the ball and sent it through a gap to Cassidy Collins. Cassidy split the defense and with backs close behind gave Kayla Weaver nothing to say about the evenings second goal. RHS 2 LHS 0
Opportunity knocked with no answer over the last 17 minutes. The opening half ended Raiders up two and having faced nothing serious. Instruction were get an early goal and end the game. Keep working on short controlling passes but be ready for a Golden Gale push. The original starters ambled back ready.
The Gales blew hard against the Footies back line sending in extra attackers. One foray was turned back but the job incomplete, instead of linking up with a Raider attack the ball fell to Gale Jacey Went out past the penalty area. Jacey launched an arching ball that hit the top post and spun down. Alexis Langwasser swept the ball away and up the field came the Raiders. The assistant referee waved his flag and said the ball had been in goal. No Raiders in on the goal area believed that but not were given opportunity to vote. RHS 2 LHS 1
Fourteen minutes later in a scrum off a Gale cross, Anna Hartig pounced on the ball and knocked in Lancaster’s second tally. Tied game with great hue and cry arising from both sets of fans.
Shortly after getting the tying goal a tremendous collision occurred that sent both the attacker and keeper Alissa Richmond to the bench. Lexi Sheffield replaced Alissa and finished the game.
The Raiders adjusted the on field line up by moving Ry Buck from center mid to striker, slid Kendall Craiglow back to center mid and put Baylie Phillips in as center mid. The adjustments paid dividends as the Purple Footies worked the ball up the right side with give and goes until Isa Fuentes was with ball and along the end line. Isa crossed to three waiting Raider attackers, Katie Hatcher the last in line kicked in the game winner. RHS 3 LHS 2
The evenings affair came to conclusion but not until Ry Buck earned her pay. Ry secured the ball and crossed into the final third. Thirty yards out Ry launched a bending ball that slipped into the top near post corner setting off a purple celebration. Ry’s 21 goal of the season slammed the game shut on the Gales. RHS 4 LHS 2
The JV team also was victorious taking the lead on Olivia Dulay’s goal and riding it to a 5-7-3 record. The best in many years.
Varsity Record 9-6-1
On to tournament time, trudging up from Ashland way will come the Teays Valley Vikings to test the Raiders. Match day is October 15. All tournament games start 7 pm, Baldwin Field. No season tickets or passes are valid as Raiders only host for OHSAA. Bring your vuvuzelas and make noise.
Tipping His Hat Towards
William Tecumseh Sherman