TOWNVILLE — It has been the tale of two halves for the Maplewood girls soccer team, and that trend continued on Tuesday afternoon as Cambridge Springs rallied off three goals in the second half to defeat the Tigers 3-0 in Region 3 action.
“Cambridge Springs played well,” said Tigers head coach Ted Eriksen. “They played hard, and we did not put a consistent effort in.”
Both sides demonstrated a competitive first half, with the visitors only outshooting Maplewood 5-4.
The tables quickly turned in the second frame when Ella Nicholson opened the scoring on a forward pass from Maggie Braymer. The shot from Nicholson slowly dribbled in the bottom corner to Maplewood netminder Natalie Slagle’s left side. From there, the Devils commanded possession, not allowing the Tigers to build any sort of traction in the offensive zone.
“We had a difficult time getting our midfield up the field so we could keep possession,” explained Eriksen.
The suffocating defense by Cambridge Springs eventually led to a pair of goals from Braymer to put the game out of reach.
It is the second time in as many matches, and fourth time this season, that the Tigers have surrendered multiple goals in the second half. In fact, Maplewood has been outscored 17-9 in the second 40 minutes this season. Additionally, the locals have been silenced in the second frame eight times in 2020.
“It’s a challenge,” said Erikson when asked about his team’s second-half struggles. “Ironically, the second half had always been our dominant half in past years. I thought we played with Meadville (on Saturday) in the first half. Those are just goals you do not like to see your team give up.”
On Saturday, Maplewood trailed Meadville 3-2 before the Bulldogs added five goals in the second half.
The Tigers were paced by McKenzie Means, who registered three shots, including one on goal.
Slagle made eight saves in goal for Maplewood, who drops to 5-8 overall and 5-8 in Region 3.
Maplewood has three remaining regular-season matches on its schedule, including back-to-back road contests starting with Warren on Thursday, and then Eisenhower a week from today. The locals will return home on Halloween morning to take on Conneaut Area at 10 a.m.