Pompton reels in Glen Rock to earn a draw

Christina Miller scored twice in the second half as Pompton Lakes erased a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with Glen Rock.

POMPTON LAKES – It is one thing when a team is being outplayed in a big game by one of its biggest rivals. It is another when a team is getting completely dominated. That was the case as Pompton Lakes watched Glen Rock pick it apart in the first 25 minutes, digging Pompton into a two-goal deficit in the process.

With nothing to lose after the rough start, the Cardinals drew their line in the sand and looked for a sparkplug to bring them back.

Cristina Miller scored late in the first half and again early in the second half as Pompton Lakes battled back to earn a 2-2 draw against Glen Rock on Friday afternoon at Lakeside Middle School.

“We started off the game really strong in every aspect, then we got away from making the simple pass and things turned on us,” said Glen Rock head coach Steve Grenz. “This is a tough result after having a two-goal lead, but I'd rather it happen now and for our team to learn from this. Pompton picked it up and they were able to tie it up. We have to rest up now and get ready for Sunday.”

Right from the opening whistle, Glen Rock took control with outstanding play in the midfield. They won just about every 50-50 ball over the first 25 minutes and peppered the Cardinals' net with shots. Maggie Sullivan hit the post early before cashing in on her very next touch. Just inside the top corner of the box, she bent a shot just inside the far post to put Glen Rock ahead, 1-0, before the 10-minute mark.

Maggie Sullivan's goal at the 10 minute mark gave Glen Rock an early 1-0 lead.

The Panthers stayed on the attack and then used a nice set piece on a corner kick for their second goal. Off a short pass, Yubi Shibuya sent a shot into the box that Lauren Patasik got a touch on it to redirect into the back of the net to put Glen Rock ahead, 2-0, just past the midway point of the first half. To this point in the game the Panthers were firmly in control. For Pompton Lakes to grab any momentum going into the second half they had to get on the scoreboard before halftime.

The possession edge began to swing towards the Cardinals and those efforts were rewarded with a late first-half goal. Adrianna Gilgar's 25-yard shot hit the post but bounced directly back to the penalty spot. Miller was there unmarked and buried the rebound to trim the lead to 2-1 at the half.

“That first goal was huge and it gave us a lot of confidence that we could do it if we put in the effort,” said Pompton Lakes' head coach Tom Clarke.”It starts with being first to the ball. We were very narrow and tentative early on. Glen Rock came out with way more energy than us and that had to flip for us to get back in the game. We got back to basics and the tide began to turn.”

That momentum spilled over into the second half when Miller again received the ball in the middle of the box thanks for a nice overlapping run and cross from Samantha Dadake. The junior striker collected the ball, took a touch to create space then cracked a shot off the fingertips of Glen Rock keeper Molly Barchetto and under the crossbar to knot the score at 2 less than three minutes into the second half.

“I got a good ball from (Dadake) and just wanted to get the shot off without it getting blocked,” said Miller. “When we were down two goals the biggest thing was to stay calm and play our game. They were beating us to every ball and we had to work harder to turn it around. Once we started winning 50-50 balls then things started going our way.”

Play was wide open through the remainder of regulation but neither team could connect as the teams headed towards overtime. Glen Rock had the ball in the Cardinals' end for the entire first overtime but Horn made a pair of big saves to send the game into a second overtime. The Cardinals pressed numbers forward and a pair of shots from long-range by Veronica Bastian but both were off-target as the teams settled for a draw.

Horn finished with nine saves for Pompton Lakes (7-1-1).

Barchetto had four saves for Glen Rock (6-2-2). The Panthers will have to turn it around quickly as they face Holy Angels in the first round of the Bergen County Tournament on Sunday.

Earning the tie allowed Pompton Lakes to retain a half-game lead in the NJIC-Colonial Division, but with Passaic County Tournament upon us and with Glen Rock, Hawthorne, and Rutherford nipping at their heels the Cardinals are well aware that every game is an important one from here on out.

“I'm happy with the effort we showed from being down two goals to earn a tie against a really good team,” added Clarke. “But we need to be more consistent and clean up some little things. If we can eliminate the mistakes we made in the first 20 minutes today and put together a solid 80 minutes that will help us moving forward."