As has been the case all year, weather was far from fair when the St. James girls soccer team (9-4) traveled to Crocker on Wednesday, April 25. The grass field quickly turned into a muddy mess, which set the stage for a wild contest that saw the Lady Tigers come out on top 5-4 in overtime.
St. James got off to a quick start on Wednesday night when Quinn Paulus found the back of the net off an assist from Mikaela Donnelly in the fifth minute of the game to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Crocker responded five minutes later, knotting the game at one.
The Lady Tigers then ran the table for the next 20 minutes of the game. First Donnelly scored off an assist by Kaylynn Crocker in the 15th minute, before Donnelly returned the favor with a dime to Crocker in the 30th minute. The Lady Lions were able to score before the half, but St. James went into the half with a 3-2 lead.
Paulus opened the second half with her second goal of the game with an assist from Crocker, stretching their lead to 4-2. After the goal, Crocker started to chip away. They scored in the 50th minute to get within one, before tying the game with 10 minutes left in regulation. The game then went into overtime locked at four.
St. James wasn't deterred by seeing their lead slip away and Paulus wasted no time putting the game away for good. The senior captain took a pass from Donnelly and put it into the back of the net just 30 seconds into the overtime, finishing off her hat trick and carrying the Lady Tigers to victory.
Assistant coach Beau Moreland called the game "one for the record books."
The mud obviously played a major factor, as did the physicality of the Lady Lion's but St. James was able to grind out a tough victory on the road.
"The weather plus the field were a real problem," said coach Moreland. "Standing water and mud holes caused a different style of soccer. The Crocker girls were very physical."
The Lady Tigers now have a few hard earned nights off from games before an important Four Rivers Conference game on Monday, April 30. They'll host St. Clair for a rematch of a 3-0 St. James road loss.