ADA — Adjusting on the fly.
Down 2-1 at halftime against Ada, Bath head coach David Briggs realized he had to make a radical adjustment if he was going to stem the Bulldogs’ offense and avoid the loss and that is what happened as the Wildcats changed their style of play in the second half to score twice in the final 40 minutes to record a a 3-3 tie Wednesday.
Bath goes to 2-0-1 and Ada opens the season and goes 0-0-1.
Ada did have a chance to win it with time winding down with less than 10 seconds when Carter Conley broke free and found himself one on one with Bath keeper Daniel Cox. The Wildcat goalie came out on top in this battle by smothering the ball on Conley’s attack and the buzzer sounded to end the game.
“That was a crazy those last couple of minutes,” Ada head coach Jason Okuly said. “It was pretty much back and forth the whole game. We played a really good team tonight. We don’t want to take away from that but our first game of the year and we made a couple of silly mistakes and things we need to clean-up.”
Bath head coach David Briggs said they don’t play the Bulldogs all that much and admitted Ada had them off their game in the first half.
“They were very good at getting a quick pass to the midfield and then going over the top,” Briggs said. “We knew they were going over the top so we had to make some adjustments. We made a little bit of a formation adjustment at halftime absolutely changed our style of play.
“We try to preach possession and holding the ball a little bit but hey if we are going to have a chance at this team we are going to have to switch stuff on the fly and we answered it and pulled out the tie. I am proud of the effort by the guys today.”
Ada took the early lead when Conley broke through for the first score of the game to give Ada an lead with 11:21 remaining in the first half.
Bath countered less than three minutes later when Ethan Pitson made a spectacular shot from around 35 yards out that looped over the keepers head and ended up in the back of the net for the equalizer with 8:44 left in the first half.
It appeared the score would be knotted at halftime but Ada’s Carson Goddard slipped one past Cox to give the Bulldogs the lead 2-1 with 44 seconds left in the first half.
Looking to stem the offensive tide, Briggs said he switched up his attack in order to counter the Bulldogs’ surge and success and the move paid off in the second half when Bath collected two unanswered scores to go up 3-2. the first score came when Landyn Vreeland punched one in less than four minutes into the final 4o and then teammate Blake Bishop notched the go-ahead score with 27:37 left in the game.
But as was the case in the first half, Ada battled back to get tie the game approximately nine minuets later when Logan Jolliff struck one into the goal to knot the score at 3-3 with 18:34 left in the game
“I am proud of the way they reacted to that,” Okuly said. “There have been a lot of tams in the past that go down a goal, get down and it is over. They kept their heads up and working hard. We got another one in and tied it right back up.”
Both teams had several golden opportunities to take the lead but the neither team could breakthrough resulting in the tie.
“Every game is going to be a battle and they are going to have to do their part to win the battle,” Briggs said. “We showed a lot of heart and effort tonight but I think we take a little more of a step forward as the season goes on.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.