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by Michael Leonard
Stow -- On a steamy afternoon at the Stow Soccer Stadium, the Stow-Munroe Falls and Tallmadge girls soccer teams met in a Suburban League crossover contest.
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 the Lady Bulldogs, the game ended in a 1-1 draw Aug. 27 at the Stow Soccer Stadium.
The Lady Blue Devils followed the tie with a 5-1 victory over Streetsboro Aug. 29 at Thomas Rossiaky Stadium and a 2-0 home win over Manchester Aug. 31 to improve to 3-0-1 on the season.
It became clear early in the Stow game that the Lady Bulldogs had control in the possession game.
"We're playing a 4-3-3 -- same as they are," Tallmadge head coach Steve Davis said. "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 for the Lady Bulldogs when freshman midfielder Maddie Marino made a run up the middle and slid a ball to forward Emily Andrassy. Andrassy ran in on the goal and slid her shot under Lady Blue Devils goalkeeper 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.
The Lady Bulldogs cleared the initial ball in, but the Lady Blue Devils' Katie Hussing corralled the ball just outside the penalty box.
Hussing unleashed a high shot that bounced off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
Stow goalie Amanda Holocker no chance to make the save.
"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.
Kisha controlled her area, cutting out numerous crosses and rushing out to foil several Lady Bulldog 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 Streetsboro, Tallmadge scored four unanswered goals in the second half.
Riley Chochola had three goals and Sara Johnson had one goal and one assist for the Lady Blue Devils.
Tallmadge's other goal came from Danielle Gregory.
Hannah Smith scored the Rockets' lone goal. Kisha made seven saves.
Lady Blue Devils' backup goalie Karyn Montgomery stopped one shot.
Tallmadge had a 12-5 advantage in shots on goal and a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
Against Manchester, the Lady Blue Devils had a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Chochola and Johnson scored the goals for Tallmadge, which got five saves from Kisha.
Manchester had a 15-10 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Lady Blue Devils are scheduled to entertain Kent Roosevelt in their Suburban League American Conference debut Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.