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Cougars have to hang on to defeat Jags PHOTO GALLERY

  • Photos by Ricky Lindsay.
  • Photos by Ricky Lindsay.
  • Photos by Ricky Lindsay.
  • Photos by Ricky Lindsay.
  • Photos by Ricky Lindsay.
  • Photos by Ricky Lindsay.


After watching a 3-0 lead fizzle away, the Truman girls soccer team needed all 80 minutes to defeat Allen Park 5-4 on Thursday. Nine different girls scored the game's nine goals.



Although they escaped with a victory after Allen Park's last-second shot found a cluster of defenders, Coach Franco Antonnicola said the Cougars did not deserve to win.



"No, we really didn't," Antonnicola said. "They played harder than us by farů.they (Truman's players) were lazy and cocky. Unless they wake up a little bitů.we have to play them again in districts, it's going to be a hard game. They just don't understand that they got to apply to it all the time. If you don't, you're going to end up losing. It's simple as that."



Truman's Anna Ciarlino found Rose Dobek for the first goal of the game at the 2:51 mark in the first half. Nearly 20 minutes later, Ciarlino found the net herself.



Isabel Sanchez netted a goal with 10:39 remaining to give Truman a commanding 3-0 lead.



Allen Park Coach Justin Hunter said his team thrives in the second half. With 1:50 remaining in the first half, the second half came a bit earlier for the Jaguars.



Casey Bowdell fed Rachel Caswell from the right corner for Allen Park's first goal of the game.



Allen Park bounced back energetically after halftime. Nearly five minutes into the second half, Natalie Lovas closed the gap with a breakaway score.



"Generally you can challenge them," Hunter said. "Being 3-1 down at halftime isn't fun, nobody likes it. They take it personally when I kind of get into them a bit. We made some proper adjustments and the team responded well to what I had to say, they took to the game plan.



"Coming back to make a 3-0 down to a one-goal game; we didn't win, but that's a moral victory I guess."



Savannah Novakowski gave Truman a 4-2 lead after netting her goal with 26:54 remaining. Emily Cossins scored on a penalty kick 1:43 later.



Hunter's half-time adjustment of pressing forwards paid off as the game winded on. With 20:17 remaining, Natasha Sanchez tapped in a score on an assist by Bowdell. Katlyn Armstrong chipped Truman's lead to one after converting a free kick for the score at the 25:40 mark.



Allen Park's offensive pressure continued down to the wire but was unsuccessful. A would-be game-tying score landed wide-left and out of bounds off a Truman defender. The rebound play as time expired fizzled, landing between a herd of defenders.



After trailing 3-0 and eventually falling 5-4, Hunter was pleased with his team's moral victory against a Truman team that kept pace with DRL juggernaut Woodhaven two weeks ago.



"The thing about Truman is we can play them 10 times and they'd win five and we'd win five," Hunter said. "Unfortunately today, they got their five and the last time we played them, we got our five. There's some games where we show up and we're the better team.



"When we played Woodhaven, we did not do well. But then when we play teams like this who play well against Woodhaven, we do well."



Allen Park (5-8, 3-5) faces Anderson on Monday and Melvindale on Wednesday.



The key to the Jaguars' DRL home stretch before districts?



"Keep the intensity that we have in the second half and put it in for the full game," Hunter said.



Truman (8-4, 6-4) returns to action next week to face Kennedy and Lincoln Park.



Antonnicola said his team has much to prepare for with districts inching closer, but wishes the level of competition down the stretch was better.



"We would have rather play better teams," he said. "We would rather be on the upper half but unfortunately we weren't."





Last Updated: 5/16/2014 12:14:30 AM EST

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