PLAIN TWP. — The sun is setting sooner. Each game is growing more important. Every moment more intense. The Federal League girls soccer season is reaching a critical point and that was on full display Tuesday at Bob Commings Field at GlenOak High School.
The Golden Eagles and Green battled it out in a key league game Wednesday night. There were ups and downs. Swings in momentum. Plenty of controversy. In the end the equation equaled out to a 1-1 draw. The result pushed the Bulldogs to 8-1-3 overall and 3-0-1 in the Federal League while GlenOak is 5-2-3 and 1-0-3 in the league.
Jamie Duskey scored the goal for Green while Addison Hamm scored the lone goal for the Golden Eagles. It was a result that neither team nor its fans were particularly thrilled with. Most of the talk after had to do with a number of controversial calls in the game.
"It was just an unfortunate situation and that's about all I can say," Green head coach Dan Harlan said.
Harlan was on the receiving end of one of the strangest yellow card calls of the evening. After a foul call went against Green in the first half, a Bulldog fan in the stands made a remark to the official. The official turned and called a shocked Harlan for a yellow card for the comment. Harlan was standing alone with his arms folded at the time and did not appear to have said anything.
A more serious situation emerged in the closing minutes of the game. GlenOak head coach Brent Walker received two yellow cards and a red card in quick succession for desperately trying to get officials to stop the game so a trainer could come onto the field and give one of his players medical attention. The Golden Eagle player was bleeding from a head wound at the time and was later transported to a local medical facility for stitches.
"The entire situation was very unfortunate," Walker said.
Fittingly it was nearly another controversial call with 21:04 to go in the second half that decided the game. The trailing official called Green for a handball in the box and awarded GlenOak a penalty kick. The Bulldogs got a clean stop from Alaina Chifolo to keep the game tied.
"She did a great job on that stop," Harlan said. "She either guessed right or saw it right off the foot because she was all over it. She didn't let up a rebound on it either. She does a great job of making solid decisions for us."
GlenOak had better luck on a free kick from outside the box with 1:59 to go in the first half. Hamm made sure that attempt would not be stopped by using her head to redirect the shot into the goal for a score to ultimately produce the third tie of the season in Federal League play for the Golden Eagles.
"She's really stepped up this season," Walker said. "She's really taking everything in stride and starting to mature into her potential. She is really starting to emerge for us."
That may be the story of the GlenOak girls soccer team as a whole. The Golden Eagles are starting to come together nicely as the OHSAA tournament approaches.
"I think the ties you are seeing in the Federal League are the result of us still being a young team," Walker said. "We are still finding our footing in some areas. I think by the end of the regular season we are going to be playing our best soccer."
Green also has plenty of reasons to be excited down the stretch. The Bulldogs hold the inside track on the Federal League regular season title after defeating perennial favorite Jackson 1-0 in its league opener.
"That was a big moment for all of us and I was happy for the girls," Harland said. "They work so hard every day. At the same time we know we can't rely on that one result. There are a lot of games left and everybody in this league is going to give you their best shot."
Reach Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @chickmanREP
This article originally appeared on The Repository: GlenOak, Green girls soccer battle to a draw in Federal League play