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Champion girls stun Lakeview with 1-all tie

CORTLAND — The third time was the charm for Madi Haines and the Champion girls soccer team.

The Flashes’ junior midfielder had three one-on-one kicks against Lakeview goalkeepers in a matter of 6 seconds Saturday and converted her third opportunity as Champion stunned the unbeaten Bulldogs with a 1-all tie.

“That was a lot of pressure,” Haines said. “We haven’t beaten or tied with (Lakeview) in at least five years. This game meant a lot to us and hopefully this will boost our confidence and get us going.”

Haines’ first chance came on a penalty kick after Lakeview was called for a penalty in the box. Lakeview junior goalkeeper Caitee Kahuric made a great save moving to her left, but 2 seconds afterward, the Bulldogs were called for another penalty in the box.

Within that confusion, Kahuric approached an official to find out what was going on and was given a yellow card. She had to come off the field. When play resumed, Haines rocketed her penalty kick directly at freshman keeper Dina Marie Johnson, who got her hands up for the save. The live ball ricocheted right back to Haines, who took two quick dribbles and found the back of the net to tie the game with 18:39 remaining.

“I saw her stop the shot and my heart sunk for a quick second, but the ball was coming right back to me and I said, ‘I have to finish it this time,'” Haines said. “Both of their goalkeepers deserve credit for those saves. I can’t imagine being in (Johnson’s) shoes because she got put in a tough spot. I felt bad for (Kahuric) too because she didn’t feel like she did anything wrong and she was crying. But taking advantage of that was huge.”

That’s because the Flashes got little offense in the field of play all game against the host Bulldogs, who dropped to 5-0-2. Champion had four shots all game, while Lakeview reeled off 21 shots. The Bulldogs had a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks.

“Their goalkeeper (Emma Gumont) kept them in the game,” Lakeview coach Marissa DeFrancesco said. “She was very strong with balls in the air, and we were never able to get connections and strike shots low at her. It was a frustrating game to dominate possession in every area and come away with a tie like that.

“But we should’ve taken care of business in the first half. We just didn’t lock it up, and we left them in the game where one break could determine the outcome. We’ll learn from this one and move on. We’ve got to put it behind us now.”

Gumont made 13 saves against the Bulldogs, who played without senior forward Bella Kaikou. The second-team all-Ohioan last season was out of town with family obligations.

Freshman midfielder Stasia Hall scored Lakeview’s goal midway through the first half when a pass from Sydney Dobler was re-directed to her feet.

Aiding Gumont on the back line for Champion was junior Emily Beach.

“Emily and Emma played very strong games and I think our defense began to frustrate (Lakeview) some,” Champion coach Emily Metheny said. “We never quit working hard and doing things we need to be successful. Our defense was strong and Madi followed her shot and got one to go. That’s why you always follow your shot.”

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