A porous final three minutes ruins valiant home effort against Pius

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A porous final three minutes ruins valiant home effort against Pius

The Southerner

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By Mallory McFarlin

The hometown partisans had one word to describe the Grady girls varsity game vs. St. Pius on Wednesday, March 7: disappointing.

It was a very nice day with a slight chill in the air, when kickoff took place at 5:37 p.m. at Grady Stadium. There were only a few puffy clouds scattered across the baby blue sky, leaving small amounts of shade out on the field.

The weather above was promising.  The storm brewing on the field was not.

St. Pius scored first, eight minutes into the game. If that wasn’t ominous enough, sophomore goalie Marie Godiers, took a kick to the head and had to leave the game.  Her injury not only prevented her return to the game, but it forced her to leave the stadium for the hospital.

Senior goalie Emma Lee replaced Godiers in goal.

The goalie switch was not the only surprising substitution on the evening. To the surprise of all in attendance, junior Perri Bonner, who was expected to miss the game due to injury, ran out on the field. With Bonner back on the field for the first time all season, many Grady fans began to have hope.

But the small dose of hope didn’t last for very long as St. Pius scored its second goal 14 minutes into the game.

With several Knight saying before the game that they hoped to avoid the mercy rule, the early deficit was hardly a surprise.  Still, the Lady Knights kept their heads up and kept fighting.

“Get to the ball!” “Pass it!” were only a few of the many commands that fans screamed to the players on the field.

Bonner managed to get past the Pius defense, leaving her one-on-one with the Golden Lion goalie. The fans rose to their feet in excitement only to sit right back down when the goalie managed to strip the ball from Bonner’s feet.

Then, Pius scored again with only seven minutes left in the first half.

The girls fought harder for those last seven minutes of the half, keeping the respectable three-goal deficit against the defending state champions from getting any wider.

“As sad as this sounds, I would be so happy if we lose 3-0,” sophomore Grady fan Graham Ruder said.

It was a commonly voiced sentiment among the Grady faithful.

As the second half started, it seemed that Grady might do much more than hold its own, but two early shots on goal were unsuccessful.

“Hey, at least they’re shooting,” Ruder said.

Throughout the second half, the host Knights fought hard and the visiting Lions grew frustrated with only a three-goal lead. With four minutes remaining, it looked as if the Knights would play their heavily favored foes to a second-half draw.

But then Pius managed to squeeze the ball past Lee and into the goal with only three minutes left.  With 90 seconds left, Pius shot a low laser and again found the net. Everybody was stunned.

Pius quickly scored another goal only 15 seconds after the last one. It appeared initially that Lee had stopped the shot, but then the ball rolled slowly into the back of the net.

Screams were shared throughout the crowd, and tears were cried on the field. Only 30 seconds were left in the game, and in a scant two minutes and 30 seconds, Grady’s deficit had doubled.

Grady slowly walked off the field with their heads down after the final buzzer sounded, the 6-0 final score a major letdown.

“At the beginning it was looking solid,” junior and Grady fan Luke Webster said. “But the last five minutes were hard to watch.”

Other fans were more disconsolate.

“This was by far the most disappointing Grady game I’ve ever seen,” Ruder said. “Grady could’ve done so much better.”

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