With an ice pack taped to her left ankle and a friend to support the weight her left leg was supposed to bear, Kerissa Lane walked off the field. Lane scored the game-winning goal for her Panthers with 12 minutes left in Friday’s 1-0 win against the Chargers, but her ankle was caught in Northwood’s frenzy for an equalizer a few minutes later.
It’s a reminder of the fierce competition each time the Orange (5-4, 3-1) and Northwood (8-3, 4-2) girls soccer teams play.
“I think Orange wanted the game more than we did,” Northwood coach David Holub said. “It’s always a battle with these guys. The competition in our conference is fierce with those top three teams. Today, they just came out on top.”
The winning goal came after Lane took a deep pass and had a one-on-one against Northwood keeper Alexis Rolka. Rolka slid for the ball, but it slipped past her, giving Lane an easy finish into the far side of the net.
“Those things happen,” Holub said, adding he told Rolka there were other things that had to go wrong to put her in that position.
“One-on-one’s with keepers aren’t keeper’s faults,” he said.
The game was delayed until Friday after inclement weather on Wednesday, and the field at Orange was still slick. Players from both teams lost their footing on occasion and both keepers had difficulty securing the ball immediately. Despite that, Orange keeper Alexcina Wartski registered a clean sheet, including several diving saves to rob Northwood attackers of the ball at their own feet.
“She made some very, very gutsy dives on balls in live situations that not a lot of people will do,” Holub said. “You almost have to be insane to do that, right? So hats off to her, she played great.”