The effort was there, but having its third game in four days seemed to have caught up to the James Buchanan Lady Rocket soccer team.
In a matchup of two of the top 3 District 3 Class AA teams, the top-seeded Boiling Springs Bubblers pulled out a 2-1 victory Tuesday night in a key Mid Penn Colonial Division match.
JB (11-4, 6-3 MPC), who came into the match ranked No. 3 in the District 3 power rankings, could’ve pulled into a second-place tie with Boiling Springs (10-2, 8-1 MPC), but after beating Greencastle-Antrim 5-4 in overtime Saturday and winning 2-1 in overtime again Monday against Red Land, the Lady Rockets were gassed especially in the second half vs. the Bubblers.
“Yeah, I think we got a little tired toward the end,” JB coach Terry Appleby said. “But I told these girls they showed a lot of good stuff out there. This is a definitely an interesting group girls in a good way.”
After a tight first half which was tied 1-1, the Bubblers scored the winning goal less than 7 minutes into the second half.
Molly Starner collected a loose ball just outside the top right of the penalty box, dribbled into the box, weaved her way around 2 JB defenders and drilled a well-placed shot into the bottom left corner of the cage.
The Lady Rockets had a handful of runs in the second half, but none put Bubbler goalkeeper Bekah Becker in serious trouble.
Because of some injuries and a red card, Appleby had to use his bench a good bit in the second half.
“Maybe that will end up being a good thing that we played a bunch of different players,” Appleby said. “And games like this will only make us better.”
Boiling Springs, which held a 13-10 game advantage in shots, took a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the game on an unassisted goal by Peyton Lubinsky. Lubinsky was at the top left corner of the 18 and popped in a left-footed shot from there.
Then with just over 5 minutes before halftime Addy Crouse scored the equalizer for the Lady Rockets. Crouse settled a loose ball at the top right of the penalty box and curled in a left-footed shot just over the outstretched hands of Becker.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” Appleby said. “Boiling Springs is the top team in districts.”
NOTES: All 4 of the Lady Rockets losses are by one goal … The Bubblers led 5-3 in corner kicks … JB keeper Alliyah Fluent and Becker each made 7 saves … The Lady Rockets next match is Thursday at home against first-place Northern.
Boiling Springs 2, James Buchanan 1
Boiling Springs 1 1 – 2
James Buchanan 1 0 – 1
BS – Peyton Lubinsky, unasst., 28:00
JB – Addy Crouse, unasst., 5:11
BS – Molly Starner, unasst., 33:25
Shots – BS 13; JB 10. Corner kicks – BS 5; JB 3. Saves – BS 7 (Bekah Becker); JB 7 (Alliyah Fluent).