Anthony Wayne goalkeeper Taylor Hill stops the ball as Perrysburg's Lucy Walton, center, and the Generals' Baily Hertzfeld move in.
Anthony Wayne and Perrysburg came into an early-season showdown tied atop the Northern Lakes League girls soccer standings.
After a hard fought and evenly played battle in Whitehouse, the teams remain knotted as they played to a 1-1 draw. Perrysburg scored midway through the first half and the host Generals evened it early in the second half.
PHOTO GALLERY: Girls draw to 1-1 tie in NLL soccer match-up
Both teams are 2-0-1 in NLL play. The defending state champion Yellow Jackets are 2-1-2 overall, while Anthony Wayne is 5-3-1.
Perrysburg, which went 23-0-0 last season, was coming off a 1-0 loss Monday to Notre Dame. It was the Yellow Jackets' first loss since the 2011 season.
“The kids were upset about losing but they rallied themselves to move on,” Perrysburg co-head coach Margaret Bernard said. “Mentally we came out tough and ready to play the game.”
Anthony Wayne coach Lori Williams said her team played with great “heart and soul.”
“Every league game for us is huge,” Williams said. “Perrysburg had an unbelievable season last year. But we play with heart and passion for every game, especially league matches.”
The Yellow Jackets struck first with 17:01 left in the first half. Sophomore Josie Fowler executed an impressive individual effort. She showed great speed and then got around a General defender. Her blast from 30 yards out eluded AW goalkeeper Taylor Hill.
The Generals responded just 3:16 into the second half. Junior Abby Allen hit the post with her shot and hustled to get to her own rebound. She then laced a shot into the right corner to knot it at 1.
“That's Abby Allen in a nutshell right there,” Williams said. “She is a scrappy player and she creates chances for herself. I'm proud of her effort.”
The match started out with sunny conditions and 90 degrees. But temperatures dropped halfway through the first half and conditions became windy.
Williams said the team that had the wind at its back had the advantage.
“I thought we were stronger in the second half and they were stronger in the first half,” she said.
Perrysburg's Addison Young, left, moves the ball against Anthony Wayne's Kelly Ryan.
Perrysburg goalie Sarah Baer finished with nine saves.
Hill made six saves, including five in the first half.
Perrysburg co-head coach Jorge Diaz said every game his team plays is going to be close.
“Everyone wants to knock us out,” he said. “This was a good test early in the season. [Last year's leading scorer] Maddy Williams isn't here so who is going to be the one scoring? It's going to happen.”
Just before the tying goal, Baer made a save off of a corner kick by Anthony Wayne senior Susan Nutter.
Allen had a great chance to put the Generals up by one goal just after she tied it, but Perrysburg defender Bri Boyd made the team save.
Anthony Wayne controlled the play for most of the second half with Perrysburg striking in spurts.
“We have belief in each other,” Williams said. “They play for each other.”
Although the Generals outshot the Yellow Jackets 5-1 in the second half, Perrysburg had many shots go either high or wide.
Both teams had chances early in the game as Hill stopped Lucy Walton twice. The teams each had four shots before the Yellow Jackets' scored.
Diaz said his team allowed one bad pass back and was caught off guard.
“Sometimes the games are like this. They are well fought,” he said. “We played good enough to win the game. But give credit to Anthony Wayne because their girls were fighting.”