GREENVILLE — Never say never.
For a good portion of the game on Wednesday it looked like the Greenville Yellow Jackets would never find the back of the net in an O-K White soccer match against the Northview Wildcats.
Greenville scored to force overtime where both teams were shutout for the final 20 minutes to finish tied 1-1.
Playing from behind for nearly 73 minutes, the Yellow Jackets forced overtime on a goal by Allysen Neumann with just 1:16 remaining in the game.
A throw-in from Megan O’Brien took a couple of bounces before finding the foot of Neumann, who blasted it by the head of Northview keeper Kelley Wormmeester into the left corner of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Northview coach Mark Van Slooten said his team was too aggressive defensively in the final minutes.
“It was frustrating. I thought we gave one away,” Northview coach Mark Van Slooten said. “Greenville did a good job of moving the ball around and pushing the attack in the last few minutes. We were just a little too aggressive on defense and gave one up.”
The Wildcats score early in the first half for a 1-0 advantage on a penalty kick just 5:35 into the game. A hand ball inside the box was the call by the referees.
“That was the hard part. We felt we were recovering from a questionable call,” Greenville coach Nathan Lewis said. “Credit the girls for fighting back and playing pretty well against a pretty solid and well coached team.”
The Yellow Jackets picked up the pace and had a few quality scoring chances in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
“We finally got going. After we were scored on it was like 10 or 15 minutes where we were like in mourning,” Greenville coach Nathan Lewis said. “We were playing slow and not talking. Then we finally woke up.”
Greenville had multiple scoring chances in the second half, but was stymied by Wormmeester till the end. Sam O’Herron and Neumann both had great looks at scoring.
“I don’t think there is any question that we had more quality scoring chances tonight,” Lewis said. “Soccer is one of those games where you can outplay an opponent and still tie them.”
Van Slooten felt a tough game on Monday had an effect on his team’s play on Wednesday.
“We had tough game on Monday (East Grand Rapids) and I think we were exhausted,” Van Slooten said. “We lost 1-0 and played a real good game. They made us run.”
Greenville keeper Britta Bernth had something to say about Northview’s play with some great saves for the Yellow Jackets.
“Britta came up with some great saves,” Lewis said. “She is a gamer and will show up and perform well.”
After struggling for the past couple of games, Lewis was happy with his team’s effort against Northview.
“Overall, I was pleased with the effort,” Lewis said. “As a team we weren’t pleased with our effort the last two games. We really made it an issue to have that effort tonight. We would rather have a win, but a tie is better than a loss.”
Northview fell to 5-4-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the league. The Yellow Jackets improved to 3-5-1 and 1-3-1 in the league,
Greenville will host Big Rapids on Friday night.