WORTON — Kent County swept visiting Mardela in girls soccer here Monday, punctuated by a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory in the varsity match.
Senior striker Logan Pinder scored the golden goal, but perhaps junior defender Olivia Jones should get an assist. Co-captain for a second year in a row, Jones delivered an inspirational message during the break before the start of the second extra period.
Alana Fithian Wilson (15 saves) went the distance in the net for the Trojans, who halted a five-match losing streak.
Kent (3-5) never trailed, taking a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on an Emma Walters’ shot from the right side.
Mardela leveled the score before halftime on a free kick from just outside the box.
The sides battled to a 1-1 draw through the next 50-plus minutes, which included the entire second half and first extra period.
Kent County, which has played shorthanded for much of the season due to injuries, was close to being at full strength for this match, according to head coach Rachael Gugasian.
“With almost all of our players back, our mindset was completely determined to win last night’s game,” she wrote in an email Tuesday morning.
In the junior varsity match, the Trojans erupted for three goals after halftime to win going away, 4-1. Freshman Alycia Wilson — younger sister of varsity goalie Alana Fithian Wilson — scored twice for the locals, who picked up their first win of the season.
Freshman Ally Berghaus made 13 saves.
Gugasian said Berghaus “played an excellent game, coming out of her comfort zone in order to block shots and make some important saves.”
The match was abbreviated to two 30-minute halves with eight players on each side.
Kent (1-2) and Mardela played to a 1-1 tie at halftime. Alycia Wilson scored for Kent.
Harleigh Sutton scored what held up as the winning goal about 12 minutes into the second half when she put back the rebound of a teammate’s shot. Wilson and Maritza Lopez added the insurance goals.
Kent outshot its guest, 6-3.
Mardela had several corner kicks, but was shut down by a Kent defense that was led by Emma Spray.
This was the Trojans’ first match since a 6-0 loss Sept. 11 at Snow Hill.
Gugasian said in Tuesday’s email, “It was the first game they had a chance to play in a couple of weeks due to injuries and I think their mentality and excitement to be playing again is what pushed them to work even harder on the field.”
NOTE: Kent is rebooting a junior varsity program that was scrapped in 2007 due to a lack of players.
The program was launched in 1999 with a roster of 14 underclassmen and continued uninterrupted until ‘07, when it was cancelled after the first match.