Hibriten fends off South
The Hibriten Panthers staved off a late South Caldwell rally to hang on for a 2-1 victory on Friday in Sawmills.
"In the first half, we were the soccer team that we need to be," Hibriten head coach Shea Bridges said. "We moved the ball well, we created and it was a phenomenal first half.
"We got satisfied with a 2-0 lead and the girls thought they had it won," said Bridges. "But I know my brother (South Caldwell head coach Elliot Bridges) is a better coach than that. He's going to have them motivated and ready to go like he did. We got too defensive."
Hibriten took a 2-0 at the end of the first half. Twelve minutes into the half, Ally Johnson fired a shot from the right side of the box to beat the South goalkeeper for the first score of the game. Then with under six minutes to play in the half, the Panthers were granted a penalty kick after a handball was called on the Spartans. Mary Beth Crowe took the penalty kick and found the lower right corner of the net to put the Panthers up 2-0.
Hibriten controlled much of the first half as South Caldwell had just one scoring chance. The Spartans had a chance early in the game after a ball went off the Hibriten goalkeeper and was bouncing deep inside the box, but the Spartans were unable to get a shot off.
South Caldwell cut the deficit in half early in the second half. With 27:35 to play in regulation, Madelyn Story scored on a header with the assist coming from Kaitlin Starnes. Later in the half, the Spartans had a number of scoring chances, but were unable to come up with the equalizer.
"We played about 60 minutes of defense and only 20 minutes of offense," said Elliot Bridges. "We didn't decide to pressure until there was about 20 minutes left. It's little things like that that you can't do against well-coached teams. We knew we were going to get Hibriten's best. We backed down and they stepped up and battled."
Hibriten will next host St. Stephens on Tuesday, while South Caldwell will play at Patton.