By BRETT MARSHALL
During Friday's showdown soccer match between rivals Garden City and Dodge City high schools, it became apparent that it would take an exceptional play, or simply a matter of getting a good bounce for either team to produce the winning goal.
In the end, however, none of that transpired, and the Lady Buffs and Lady Red Demons walked off the field disappointed as a result of a 1-1 tie that could not be broken by 20 minutes of extra play over two overtime periods.
GCHS senior Haley Brennaman perhaps captured the feeling as she left the turf at Buffalo Stadium.
"It's tough to tie Dodge City, especially here at home," Brennaman said. "We still have to go there, and it's always tough there."
The ability to secure the winning goal just seemed elusive throughout the game, especially in the second half the overtime periods for the Lady Buffs.
They out-shot Dodge City 19-9 for the game, getting nine shots in the second half and three each in the two extra periods.
"We had our opportunities but just couldn't get them in," bemoaned GCHS head coach Joaquin Padilla. "I thought we had low energy in the first half and maybe that's because we played yesterday (3-1 win on Thursday over Great Bend). We just played a lot better in the second half and even better in the two overtimes. The girls played hard. It wasn't for lack of effort."
The game was tied 1-1 after the opening 40 minutes.
Megan Martinez put the Lady Buffs up early in the ninth minute, when she took a free kick from Brennaman on the left side of the goal box, softly booted the ball and watched it roll in past Dodge City goalkeeper Andrea Estrada, who had made a move out to catch the free kick by Brennaman.
Dodge City seemed to have the momentum on the offensive attack in the first half, and finally got its first goal in the 25th minute. Cynthia Rodela took a centered back from behind Scarlett Real and drilled it into the left side of the goal past a diving Ashlee Richman.
The second half was all Garden City, as the Buffs kept firing away at the Lady Demons' goalkeeper, Andrea Estrada. But nothing found its way into the goal.
Brennaman had a free kick from the 25-yard line land on top of the goal net in the 43rd minute. Megan Martinez centered a pass to Amber Miller, whose shot was wide right with 3:40 left in regulation.
"I thought that was going in," Brennaman said of her shot that landed on top of the net. "It just seemed like everything was close and we couldn't catch a break. It's frustrating because I really thought we out-worked them."
In the overtime periods, the Lady Buffs had more chances, and again came up empty.
Alyssa Martinez had a shot hit the crossbar, rebound back and then Amber Miller's kick sailed high over the net. Maria Rodriguez had a free kick miss wide right at the 3:04 mark of the second overtime and then Brennaman missed on another free kick that Estrada deflected.
"Sometimes, we're just giving the other team too much space when we're trying to attack," Padilla said. "We need to work on that and get that fixed. We need to attack more as a group and get support from our mid-fielders and give us more opportunities to play back and then attack again."
The tie left the Lady Buffs with a 5-4-1 season record and 3-1-1 in the Western Athletic Conference. Dodge City is 5-7-1 and 3-1-1. The Lady Buffs host Hays at 4 p.m. Monday in another key WAC matchup. Hays handed the Lady Buffs a 1-0 loss on April 15.
Dodge City 1 0 0 0 -- 1
Garden City 1 0 0 0 -- 1
GC--Megan Martinez, 9th minute, assist Haley Brennaman.
DC--Cynthia Rodela, 25th minute, assist Scarlett Real.
Goalkeepers--Dodge City (Estrada), Garden City (Richman). Shots--Dodge City 9, Garden City 19. Saves--Dodge City (Estrada 5), Garden City (Richman 4). Corner kicks--Dodge City 3, Garden City 3. Penalties--Dodge City (Rodela, yellow).