BY PCC STAFF
FORT MADISON – Claire Pothitakis scored two goals and Brandy Walker had a third, but the Lady Hounds ran out of time in a comeback attempt against Burlington at home Thursday night as the Grayhounds won 4-3 in Southeast Conference girls soccer matchup.
Pothitakis scored her second goal on a nifty bender into the upper left corner of the goal over four Grayhounds fencing up on a penalty kick. The ball sailed lightly over their heads and spun away from Burlington’s keeper Jenna Hentzel into the back of the goal to cut the lead to 4-3 at the 10-minute mark.
Fort Madison would have control of the ball on their offensive third for about the next seven minutes, but the Burlington defense would keep Fort Madison near the sidelines preventing crossing passes into Pothitakis. The Hounds managed another shot on goal in the stretch, but the lofted shot from the center was grabbed up easily by Hentzel.
Fort Madison scored two in the first half, but keeper Kailyn Guzman gave up four against a physical Grayhound front in the half, spotting the visitors to a 4-2 first half lead. Guzman had nine saves on the night and held Burlington scoreless in the second.
“Tonight we started the game well, but then struggled connecting passes and being organized defensively,” Head Coach Carrie Burken said.
“After giving up a goal with less than two minutes left in the first half, we got ourselves in a two-goal deficit at halftime. The girls played much better in the second half, scoring one goal and conceding none. It was just one more game where we lost by a single goal. We need to have more consistency in our playing to get us past the “one-goal curse”.
Burken recognized Alyssa Fincher on the left side of the defense and Mary Kate Bendlage roaming the middle.
“Alyssa and Mary Kate helped lead the shoring up of the defense in the second half,” she said. “And Claire continues to be the focal point of our offense.”
Walker had one assist to Pothitakis, two shots and two shots on goal. Pothitakis had an assist for Walker and had one shot. Alana Simpson, Taylor Crabtree and Bendlage had a shot each.