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On a steamy afternoon at the Stow Soccer Stadium Aug. 27, Stow-Munroe Falls and Tallmadge girls soccer met with backyard bragging rights on the line.
The weather may have won this contest, as the steam seemed to come out of the game the longer it went.
Despite a big edge in possession for Stow, Tallmadge came away with a 1-1 draw Aug. 27, as the Bulldogs did not have a good day in front of the goal.
Following the draw, Stow opened its Suburban League National Conference schedule with a trip to Wadsworth Aug. 31. Stow finished with an 2-1 against the Grizzlies.
Stow's record stands at 3-0-1, 1-0 in the National Conference.
It became clear early against Tallmadge that Stow had the advantage in the possession game Despite this, Bulldogs coach Nate Rausch was looking for more from his team, especially in front of the goal.
"It was a bad first half for us," Rausch said. "I think we came out flat. We did a better job in the second half. We had the possession, but we sat back when we should have pressed. They resorted to long ball."
"We're playing a 4-3-3 same as they are," said Tallmadge coach Steve Davis. "In terms of possession, we actually like to have more of the ball ourselves. Stow is a team that plays a lot faster than any team we've seen. After the first 20 minutes, I think we settled in."
The early pressure paid off in the 19th minute when freshman midfielder Maddie Marino made a run up the middle and slid a ball to forward Emily Andrassy. Andrassy ran in on goal and slid her shot under Tallmadge keeper Maria Kisha to make it 1-0.
Stow finished with a 5-3 edge in shots on goal and a 7-4 edge in corner kicks.
However, Tallmadge found the equalizer off a corner kick in the 36th minute.
Stow cleared the initial ball in, but Tallmadge's Katie Hussing corralled the ball just outside the penalty box. Hussing then unleaded a high shot that bounced off the underside of the crossbar and in, giving Stow goalie Amanda Holocker no chance.
"Being constantly behind and trying to chase the game, that kind of wears you down," Davis said. "After the goal, I thought it was an even contest. We were in it right to the end."
With the game tied 1-1 at half, Stow pressed forward for most of the half, but had a frustrating afternoon in front of the net.
"It's more of a confidence thing right now," Rausch said. "We've got to get them to be more calm in front of net.
Kisha controlled her area, cutting out numerous crosses and rushing out to foil several Stow chances. Kisha finished with three saves, while Holocker had two.
"She did really well pulling the defense together," Davis said of Kisha. "I have a lot of faith in her."
Against Wadsworth, Stow had to fight for it, but the ended up winning thanks to a late goal from Andrassy. In fact, Andrassy scored both of Stow's goals against the Grizzlies.
Wadsworth finished with a slight 9-8 edge in shots on goal, while the Bulldogs had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Holocker registered eight saves in the win.
Stow took Labor Day weekend off and will next action at Nordonia Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.