SAN MARINO — Somewhere between satisfaction and disappointment were the feelings of each the visiting South Pasadena High and San Marino girls' soccer teams.
Both Rio Hondo League rivals and title aspirants engaged in a rough-and-tumble affair Wednesday afternoon that resulted in a 1-1 tie.
Both team’s goals came within the first 15 minutes of action, as San Marino (8-3-1 overall, 2-0-1 in league) punched in a score in the seventh minute when senior forward Hope Welder dumped a pass inside the 18 to teammate Hayley Thompson.
The junior striker centered the ball and fired a nine-yard goal past diving Tigers goalie Angelique Ulmer that put the home team up, 1-0.
Eight minutes later, though, the defending league champion Tigers (4-7-2, 1-0-2) turned in the shot of the day when junior fullback Lenja Suey connected on a stellar 25-yard direct kick that sailed over San Marino’s three-girl wall and banked in off the inner post far side behind Titans goalie Elizabeth Hannan.
“Lately, I haven’t been doing so well on my free kicks, so I took my time this time,” Suey said. “I placed it instead of just kicking it, which I usually do. I tried to hit the back net and it went in.”
While the scoring was capped early, there was still plenty of action and pushing.
The Tigers missed on two shots in the 36th and 40th minutes from sophomore Emmy Keenan and junior Kelly Brady from 12 and 16 yards, respectively, that both required saves from Hannan.
In between the shots on goal, Titans senior defender Alex Schuster was taken down on a hard slide tackle and did not return until early in the second half.
Schuster again found herself on the floor in the third minute of stoppage time when she appeared to go down with a knee injury on the final possession of the match.
Right after that play, Keenan drove the ball upfield and found streaking teammate Ryan Ramirez down the northern touchline. Ramirez fired from 15 yards and the match’s final shot on goal was punched away on a great save from Hannan.
Four minutes earlier, the Tigers suffered their own injury on a breakaway when Thompson had her one-on-one try denied when her rocket shot was blocked by Ulmer, who then collided with Thompson and was knocked out of the game.
“She took a really hard hit, but knowing her, she’ll be back Friday,” Tigers first-year Coach Eva Dixon said of Ulmer. “This was a hard-hitting game and you’d like to get a win, but we’re on the road, so we’ll take the tie knowing San Marino will have to come to us.”
Thompson’s attempt was one of three good looks for the Titans in the second half that didn’t find the net.
“My hat goes off to South Pas because they came in and tied it up,” Thompson said. “I got a great pass from Quinta Addis in the 80th minute and was just unlucky.
“It’s really tough that we worked for our goal and they got theirs on a set piece, but what really matters is what you do after. We still have some unfinished business with South Pasadena.”