BOUNCING BALL GOES MOCS' WAY IN 1-0 WIN AT BARRY
Haley Scores in 80th Minute
MIAMI SHORES - Renee Heacock said it best. Sometimes the ball just bounces your way. Ultimately, it was one of those bouncing balls that decided Saturday's game as Princess Haley controlled one long enough to turn it into a late goal and give Florida Southern a 1-0 win over Barry.
Haley's goal, her fifth of the year, came with 10:48 remaining, but it was Heacock's effort throughout the game that gave the Mocs (6-3, 1-0) a chance to win. The junior defender took over the game, making play after play on the back line. Twice in the final five minutes of the first half, Heacock snuffed out potential break-away attempts by Barry; and at least three times in the second she cleared dangerous balls out of the box before a shot could be taken.
"This was my first conference game and it was a lot more intense," said Heacock. "It seemed like the whole team was out there ready to battle the entire night."
In short, Heacock was everywhere it mattered for a Moccasin defense that posted its fourth shutout of the year. Make that almost everywhere. Haley ended up in one of those spots when she knocked in a loose ball the Bucs (5-4-1, 1-2-1) failed to clear out of the box. Instead of a Moccasin attack ending without a shot, it ended with the ball somehow at Haley's feet right near the penalty spot.
"I just reacted to the ball," said Haley. "It was really just instinct. I saw a shot and took it."
That goal seemed to energize the Moccasins, who got off three more shots over the next five minutes, but were unable to land any of them. One of them included a near-miss by Haley.
The Moccasins attempted to run out the clock as best they could, but the Bucs re-gained possession twice. On one of those with just over two minutes to play, a ball by Allie Llaneras was played into the box but goalkeeper Martina Tangen Billing came off her line to grab it a half step ahead of Sarah Wolfer.
In the final minute, the Bucs had one last chance to tie the game. That chance came on a corner kick by Haley Struthers, which was bounced around inside the Moccasin penalty box for what seemed to be an eternity. The ball eventually came back to Struthers on the left side, but her shot from close range was blocked with 45 seconds to play.
The Mocs were still unable to control the ball and this time it ended up in the possession of Tiffany Rolfing. The Buccaneer defender lined up a shot from outside the box but it sailed high as the Mocs held on for the win, their third straight over the Buccaneers and the first time they ever shut them out.
"If there's a word for this team, it's resilient," said FSC coach Ben Strawbridge. "You had two very good teams out there tonight who struggled against each other for 90 minutes. Barry was everywhere and we really had to battle."
The first half went by with only a handful of shots by either team: three by Florida Southern and four by Barry. The Moccasins had one of theirs early when Haley worked free just inside the box but pulled a shot wide right. That came two minutes into the game and it was another 15 minutes before another shot was taken, at least officially. In between, Linda Hoglund took the ball to the right end line after a long run, and her cross to the middle set up a running header by Liz Gorman. The shot was on target, but the ball had already crossed the line before Hoglund bent it back into the field of play.
The physical game featured a total of 22 fouls in the first half, and the Mocs had to repel several Barry free kicks on their own side of the field. The action picked up considerably in the final five minutes of the half when the Buccaneers gained an edge in the momentum, courtesy of several reserves who had entered the match.
Facing their most intense pressure to that point, the Moccasins withstood a charge by the Buccaneers that included a rocket off the post by Struthers. The rebound was cleared harmless by Lexie Bottomley. It was also during that time that Heacock single-handedly shut down two other attacks by the Buccaneers.
Florida Southern will play again Tuesday night at Flagler College, with kickoff set for 5:00 p.m.
FSC 0 1 - 1
BU 0 0 - 0
SCORING: FSC--Haley (unassisted), 79:12. SHOTS: FSC 12, BU 10. CORNER KICKS: FSC 4, BU 3. SAVES: FSC 4 (Tangen Billing), BU 2 (Cromartie). FOULS: FSC 15, BU 22. CAUTIONS: Crooks (FSC), 48:41; Wolfer (BU), 87:38.