Pittsburgh Soccer Now’s Featured Game: Bentworth 3, Chartiers-Houston 2, OT
It was Senior Night at Bentworth on Wednesday as they would celebrate the careers of Seniors’ Jocelyn Timlin, Paige Marshalek, Hannah Roberts, Emilie Snyder, Rori Schweiber, Caroline Rice, Lindsey Davis and Jenna Patress.
One of those seniors would play a huge role throughout the match.
The match was barely even five minutes old, when Timlin would put a shot off the post that would have given them the early lead, but the match would remain scoreless for just under the first twenty minutes.
“I’ve often said, if you don’t capitalize on early opportunities, the opposition will,” Tyler Hamstra, Bentworth’s head coach said. “Sure enough, we didn’t score early, and made it more difficult on ourselves for the rest of the match.”
Chartiers-Houston withstood the early pressure, then started to seize most of the possession for the first half as Bentworth was conceding large areas of space in the midfield.
For the visitors, their diligence paid off in the 18th minute.
Freshman Lexi Durkac found room to shoot from 25 yards out, bending a right footed shot inside the left post and into the back of the net to give the Buccaneers the 1-0 lead, putting the Bearcats on their heels for a little bit.
Bentworth responded by getting back on the front foot for the next ten minutes, as Timlin used her speed to finally get behind the Char-Houston back line to even up the score.
The match would head into halftime all tied at 1.
In the first half, the pace was on the slower side with a lot of the play taking place at midfield and the second half would start with more of the same.
By the 60th minute, however, Bentworth came hard with a fury of chances toward the Chartiers Houston net, but goalkeeeper Madison Smith was up to the task for much of the night, coming off the line numerous time to nullify long balls into the box before Timlin and Marshalek could get to them.
The intensity, and even the physicality, started to pick up as the half wore on as both teams were pushing for the go-ahead goal, with a section title still on the line, and playoff positioning.
It felt like an intense rivalry game.
The Buccaneers withstood Bentwood pressure at times, and then they set the stage to ruin Senior Night for the Bearcats late in the contest.
Again, it was Durkac would score her second goal of the night, as she volleyed a bouncing ball near the top of the box into the next for her brace, which gave Chartiers Houston a stunning 2-1 lead in the 75th minute.
It was Senior Night. With less than four minutes remaining, Timlin and her teammates pressed for another equalizer.
Marshelak attempted to win a ball deep on the end line, but couldn’t secure the ball. With Char-Houston winning the goal kick, Bentworth brought some added pressure.
Sure enough, a poor goal kick resulted in Timlin intercepting the ball, then taking three or four touches deep into the box, where she beat Smith to level the match, 2-2, in the 77th minute.
The Bearcats and Bucs couldn’t find a game-winner in the final few minutes of regulation, leaving the match be decided in extra time.
Not even two minutes into overtime, Marshalek received a pass about 35 yards from goal. With her back to the goal, she turned, and lofted a ball just inside the box for Timlin, who blew past a pair of defenders.
Timlin only had Smith to beat, and took a touch while evading the keeper, then somehow powered a shot into the open net to complete the hat trick and give the Bearcats a rousing 3-2 victory.
ED THOMPSON’s PHOTOS: JOCELYN TIMLIN’s GAME WINNER
With the win, Bentworth, 14-1 overall, clinched a third section title in four years, as its 10-0 record with two section matches remaining is good enough to secure the top spot.
Char-Houston falls to 10-6 overall, and only lost its second match in section play, dropping to 8-2 in section.
ED THOMPSON PHOTO GALLERY
PSN’s John Krysinsky 1-on-1 with Bentworth Senior Forward Jocelyn Timlin:
PSN’s John Krysinsky 1-on-1 with Bentworth Head Coach Tyler Hamstra: