Like the pink rabbit in a battery commercial, it kept going and going …
With a scant 2:30 left in regulation Tuesday night at CB South, CR South senior Kim Speiser launched a free kick from the 40-yard line that hung, drifted and floated into the right upper corner of the goal.
“I was just trying to get it as high as possible and get as much hang time as possible so one of us could get on it,” Speiser described. “That didn’t happen, but it still worked in the end. I saw the goalie run out. When she did, I thought ‘It’s probably going in.’”
The kick was the game’s only goal as CR South (7-1-1) extended its win streak to six. The Golden Hawks entered the contest as the second-ranked team in the Suburban One League.
“I think our girls are buying in right now,” assessed Golden Hawk coach Nick Heim. “I give credit to our seniors who, in the postseason meetings last year said, ‘Here is our vision and here is what we want to do.’ They are the ones who take care of it on the field.
“What is different is I think they are enjoying being around each other a bit more, and when you have that chemistry off the field, it translates on the field,” Heim added. “You don’t see heads go down.”
Last year, Heim’s club won its final four regular season games to clinch the last spot in districts. While CR South won’t need those dramatics to go to the postseason this fall, Heim is keeping his squad humble despite racking up victories.
“We have a lot of work to do and we have a tough road ahead of us,” Heim emphasized. “I said to the girls after the game that between our conference and the cross-over, records don’t mean anything and I don’t care about power points. Every team is really good.”
“I feel like we’ve been having a good streak but the first half was kind of rough and the second half really woke us up,” Speiser added. “It showed that although we have a bunch of wins, we can’t be content with it.”
“We reminded ourselves that we scored off of a free kick so they can score anytime,” pointed out keeper Karissa Smedley, who had four of her five saves in the second half.
The win gave CR South a Central Bucks sweep. On Sept. 14 Cam Blatz, fresh off of a hat trick in a 3-0 win over Harry S. Truman, scored both goals in a 2-0 topping over CB East. Blatz scored the lone goal in a hard-fought Golden Hawks win over CB West two days later.
Four of the Golden Hawks’ six wins have been shutouts. “We have each other’s backs,” Smedley noted. “We don’t get down on each other. I trust in them that I won’t have to make big plays and they trust in me that I’m there for them.”
Tuesday would have been the biggest win of Gabbie Nolan’s young CB South (3-6) career. The first-year coach’s squad started 3-2. Although Tuesday marked the Titans’ fourth consecutive loss, the Titans played a commendable game on the 16th, taking one-loss CR North to double overtime.
“The biggest thing for us right now is work ethic and confidence,” Nolan explained. “We’re trying to change the mindset of the team. The girls have really bought into ‘If you work hard, the results come’ and the past two games served as a turning point for us. They have been the best games that the girls have bought into with working hard and believing in themselves.”
“For long stretches, they took it to us,” Heim praised. “(Nolan) is doing a fantastic job with the program. If they get into playoffs, they are going to make some noise.”
The Titans had five corner kicks and didn’t permit CR South any. Sophomore defender Haley Helsel did an excellent job of keeping the dangerous Blatz off of the score board.
“One big thing for us is finding a way to play for the full game and not take plays off,” Nolan said. “That’s how we’ve been playing. The results right now aren’t showing it but we have made so much progress from game one until now. The team has so much to be proud of on playing a full game. The results will come.”
CR South travels to North Penn on Thursday while CB South heads down to Bensalem for a pair of inter-divisional games.