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Eagles, Wildcats battle to tie

By Staff
FANCY FOOTWORK Meridian's Joseph Murphy maneuvers past Pearl River's Drew Gallant after a battle for the ball, as the Eagles and the Wildcats tied 2-2 in double overtime Saturday.PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Sept. 21, 2003
Will Sowell was almost perfect for Meridian Community College, but came up one save short as Pearl River Community College rallied to tie the Eagles 2-2 on Saturday.
In the women's game earlier in the evening, Pearl River downed Meridian 3-0.
After controlling the tempo for most of the second half and taking a 2-1 lead in the 69th minute on a Brandon Rodgers goal, the Eagles defense relaxed. The Wildcats offense held the ball inside Meridian territory for much of the next 15 minutes, and finally got a shot past Sowell on a short header in the 84th minute.
The goal followed several acrobatic saves from Sowell, including two diving stops within seconds of each other during the 71st minute.
The Wildcats' first goal came in the 14th minute when Brennan Brooks took a Stephen Kulikowski crossing pass and put it past Sowell.
Meridian answered less than six minutes later. Pearl River goalkeeper Jerrad Cooper blocked a low shot by Rodgers, but Benton Dufour took the rebound and shot it into the corner.
Rodgers nearly broke the 1-1 tie in the 44th minute on a shot toward the left corner of the goal, but Cooper ran the length of the box and deflected the ball before it went in.
The teams played through two scoreless overtime periods.
Meridian remained unbeaten with the tie and is now 6-0-2 on the year. Pearl River's record is 8-1-1.
Lady Wildcats 3
Lady Eagles 0
Pearl River controlled the pace of the game from the beginning, scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes before defeating the Lady Eagles 3-0.
George said, despite the loss, he was pleased with Meridian's effort against the state's top women's team.
The Lady Eagles are now 2-7. The Lady Wildcats improved to 9-2.