Jackson strikes late to defeat Central 2-1

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Jackson and Central's girls soccer teams met for the second time in four days Tuesday night at Jackson.

And for the second straight time Jackson bounced back from a 1-0 deficit in the second half to win 2-1. Jackson had recovered from a 1-0 halftime deficit on Saturday in the Noon Optimist Classic semifinals against Central.

"It is nice to come back and get a win, especially at home," Jackson coach Zack Walton, whose team suffered its first loss Saturday in the championship game in a shootout with Notre Dame.

On Tuesday, Molly Hartmann scored both goals for the Indians (3-1).

After the teams played through a scoreless defensive struggle in the first half, Central (3-2) came out fired up in the second half. Only two minutes in, Laura Burdick scored on a strong top-shelf shot off a pass from Heidi Pilsner.

"They stepped up and won a 50-50 ball and we didn't step up and win a ball," Walton said of Central's goal.

Sparked by the goal, Central began to put Jackson on its heels. Central nearly scored again eight minutes into the half, but Jackson defender Ashley Bartels was able to clear a shot off the goalline.

As the half progressed Jackson's top offensive threat, junior Molly Hartmann, started to take the game into her own hands.

"I got tired of trying to pass and dribble through all those defenders," Hartmann said. "I figured if I started shooting more we'd have a better chance."

Hartmann got the Indians on the board with 16 minutes left on a slow rolling shot which snuck into the right corner. Hartmann's sister, Lucy, picked up the assist.

With less than 10 minutes left, Jackson got a gift as Central was whistled for a foul deep inside its own goalbox. KT Biri passed the indirect kick to Molly Hartmann who buried it home for the game-winner.

"It was kind of an anger shot," Hartmann said of her second goal. "Central's a good physical team. That's something we're going to have to be -- a little more physical."

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