PCHS soccer ties with Hendersonville

Published 9:05 am Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Britany Phipps chases down a ball in PCHS' tie against Hendersonville.

Polk County’s home matchup with Hendersonville on the soccer pitch Monday had it all. There was rain, strong winds, bats (the flying kind), physicality and drama. In other words, it was exactly what fans would’ve expected from two bitter rivals.

For most of the first half, the Lady Bearcats held the possession – challenging the Polk defense. The Wolverines didn’t break.

On the other side of the ball, while the Bearcats held the possession advantage, the Lady Wolverines had the most flash and better looks at the goal.

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Polk forward Brittany Phipps, who played a big part in the 2009 state title run, led the Wolverines with her breakaway ability. The senior had five different breakaways towards the Hendersonville goal, but none could line up right as the Bearcat defense recovered.

The stalemate continued in the second half. The Lady Bearcats took a shot eight minutes in that almost landed inches inside the Polk goal. The ball, however, met the hand of an outstretched Donny Every as the Polk goalie stretched to block the shot.

The physicality of Monday’s matchup was apparent. A Hendersonville player was down for nearly 20 minutes and was carried off in an ambulance. Over and over Hendersonville players found themselves on the grass as the Lady Wolverines dominated the game physically.

This was the most physical game that head coach Lennox “Rock” Charles has seen his team play this season.

“We have to be,” he said. “Or they’d run us off the field.”

With less than eight minutes to go in the second half, the Lady Wolverines lined up in front of the goal awaiting a throw-in by Lyric Flood.

For Phipps, the desired goal was simple.

“My intentions were to flick it towards the goal so that Ritchie (Sciuva) could get her head or foot on it,” she said.

Flood tossed the ball towards Phipps and the senior put her head on it, but instead of Sciuva, who had a hat trick April 1 against Madison, the ball found the back of the net as the Lady Wolverines broke the stalemate.

“Right now she’s (Phipps) our most consistently dangerous player,” Charles said. “She’s doing a good job of getting to the ball.”

The lead, however, didn’t last as the Lady Bearcats scored a goal with 4:07 left to play. After two overtimes, the match ended in a 1-1 tie.