The Wauwatosa girls soccer players met on a rainy Saturday night for the annual East Red Raiders vs. West Trojans Battle of Tosa. This year, neither team came out on top with the match ending in a 1-1 draw.
The first half was scoreless with neither team creating many dangerous chances. West came close in the 11th minute when Gaby Zabala sent a through ball toward Emily O'Connell, but senior goalkeeper Lily Brock came out to collect the ball for East and the threat was stifled.
Midway through the half, East's Anna Ganser had two chances at goal but struck the ball high on both occasions. The Raiders came closest to scoring with six minutes left in the half and a scramble inside the Trojan penalty area, but the Raiders could not get a clean shot off, and halftime came at 0-0.
Shortly after the restart, the Trojans were given a golden opportunity to pull ahead on a penalty kick. Senior captain Kate Murphy stepped up but missed wide of the post.
'We came out and did the combination that we wanted to right on top of the box,' said West coach Ryan Bailey, 'Got her through; Erin took a great first touch, got fouled. Kate's a senior captain; she wanted it, she was confident. We talked about it at halftime; she wanted to score. She missed one, but it's all right.'
East coach Eric Dale added, 'I thought we were in trouble because we talked about starting quickly in the second half and playing down hill, and it was immediate. It was a foul, but she just pulled it, and that was lucky for us.'
In the 69th minute, East's Elyse Reagan sprung free and took a shot that went just wide of the Trojan goal on the near post. Six minutes later, Liz Bueckers took a free kick for the Raiders that she put on frame and struck the ball past the keeper at the near post to finally break the deadlock and give East a 1-0 lead.
West bounces back
The apparent ease of the goal was frustrating but understandable given the weather.
'How'd that even go in? Honestly, because it was near post, and then I was like, 'We've got this,'' Zabala said. 'I have to stay positive, and then we came back.'
The East lead was short-lived, however. Just three minutes later, Zabala sent in a corner kick that deflected off Brock into the Raiders' goal for the equalizer.
Zabala was surprise the goal was credited to her.
'I thought it was actually one of our players that hit it in,' she said, 'but I was like, 'Yeah, we tied it up; now we can get back and hopefully win the game.' I was rooting for another goal.'
Bailey described the goal.
'It went through the keeper's hands off her service, so no one actually touched it except the keeper,' he said. 'She just put it right at the near post, and it went in. We worked on the situations in training the last week. Eisenhower is a rival, Tosa East is a rival. We know that where we are in conference; we knew that we would eventually be down where we had to come back in a game like this.
'They weren't rattled, and we knew that if we just kept the ball forward, we would get a chance, and we ended up taking it. Deflection in a dangerous area like we want, and the ball went in. It was a fair result. I think both teams were pretty even tonight.'
'The ball bounced around on that tying goal,' Dale said. 'Goals like that happen on a night like this. Balls skip, and both of them skipped through the keepers' hands. I wish the weather would have been better, but maybe we'll get a chance to catch them in the tournament. I'm not surprised at the tie, but it hurts to tie. Everyone wants to win the battle of Tosa.'