GHS soccer completes comeback

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 12:35 a.m.

Gainesville High girls soccer coach Fritz Kaufmann pulled Emily Dowd to the bench just five minutes into her senior night game. He had planned to play his main offensive weapon sparingly after an ankle injury suffered during a holiday club tournament.

But Dowd wouldnt sit long.

The Hurricanes bounced back from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Oak Hall 3-2 with a goal in the final two minutes of the second half. After playing only 5:24 of the first half, Dowd was put back into the game for the final 36 minutes, re-energizing her team.

I dont want to sit here and watch us lose, said Dowd, who was one of 11 seniors celebrated before their last home game. I hate sitting on the bench, so I had to go back in and man-up.

Oak Hall (11-5-2) got going early with two first-half goals from senior Colleen Ugliano. The second came on an assist from Dowds future teammate at the University of Tennessee, Emily Shore. Coming off of a penalty restart, Shore booted a set-kick 45 yards, catching an on-side Ugliano, who was streaking past the Hurricane defense for a one-on-one goal.

A goal by GHS (11-5-4) senior Stephanie Clark in the 37th minute made it a 2-1 game at the half.

Dowd had several second-half shots go wide before an 18-yard boot in front of the goal tied the score in the 64th minute. The goal, No. 32 on the year, extended Dowds area record for career goals to 155.

With less than two minutes remaining, junior Aimee Howe cut the ball through several Eagle defenders on the left side of the goal, putting it in on the bottom-right corner for the go-ahead score.

I told them I dont want you to be the only class to lose on your senior night, said Kaufmann. That kind of fired them up We also had a good game plan that they executed well.

That plan included stopping Shore, who was limited to the one assist. For Dowd, the victory came with mixed emotions.

Its sad, she said. All of us were talking when we were doing our senior night introductions. We almost started crying. Its just really sad that were almost going to be done in about four months.

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