Adding another chapter to what is quickly becoming a golden age for Tuolumne County girls soccer, defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division III champion Summerville High School hosted undefeated Sonora in one of the most highly-anticipated meetings in recent years between the rivals.
Unlike so many other hyped events, this one lived up to its pre-game billing.
After Summerville took a 1-0 lead on a Jordan Vermillion goal early in the second half, Sonora squeezed out a 1-1 tie with the clock winding down when Haley Hohengarten scored in the 77th minute at Thorsted Field in Tuolumne.
Sonora (6-0-1) saw its six-game winning streak come to an end, but remained undefeated, while the Bears (6-2-1) bounced back from a disappointing weekend during which they lost their first two games of the season.
What a game, Sonora coach Rick Mogg said. This has got to have been one of the most entertaining, dramatic and satisfying high school soccer games I have ever seen.
Each year, this game brings out the best in both sides intensity, good individual skill, sound team tactics and outstanding sportsmanship, Summerville coach Jim Frazier said. I think at the end of the season, the girls on both teams might remember this one as their most exciting game of the year.
With the Bears dominating offensively in the first half, outshooting the Cats 11-5, it was no surprise they were the first to break into the scoring column.
Ten minutes into the second half, Vermillion took a pass from Candace Loyd and dumped a shot from 30 yards out just over the outstretched hands of Sonora goalie Michelle Banks.
Trailing 1-0, Sonora began to increase its scoring opportunities and finally managed to break through with three minutes left in the game when Hohengarten turned a corner kick by Heather Duerkop into a goal on a header that just squeezed past Summerville goalie Kellie Pierce.