Borlie’s goal lifts Pioneers over Sherando, 2-1
WINCHESTER — If Millbrook’s girls’ soccer team has a free kick anywhere near the box, then there’s a good chance Pioneer senior Brooke Borlie will be the one taking it.
The Pioneers’ senior standout showed just how dangerous she can be when she stepped up to take a free kick with just over four minutes left in a tie game with Northwestern District-rival Sherando.
Borlie, who took the free kick after teammate Kortney Teike was taken down after a nice run through the middle of Sherando’s defense, blasted a shot over the Warriors’ wall and curled it just underneath the crossbar and above Sherando goalkeeper Margarita Beyer to lift the Pioneers to a 2-1 victory Tuesday night.
Borlie’s goal gave the Pioneers (7-3, 2-0) their fifth straight win in the series against Sherando (3-3, 1-1) dating back to 2011.
“She’s got an amazing shot,” said Millbrook coach Carter Smith of Borlie’s game-winning goal. “That close I say ‘just put it on frame and see what happens.’ Maybe the goalie didn’t see it because of the wall and caught a glimpse of it late and that’s why she was late with her hands. But Brooke just fired a rocket in there.”
Borlie said she was calm when she stepped up to take the free kick from about three yards beyond the 18-yard box.
“I kind of imagined that no one was there — just me and the goalie and I just wanted to take a nice, solid shot,” Borlie said. “My biggest thing was I wanted to make sure it was on frame. I didn’t want it to go over no matter what, and I wanted my other teammates to have a chance to knock it in if it didn’t go in there on the first shot.”
Sherando didn’t generate many quality chances in the second half, but Pioneer goalkeeper Caitlin Schrader (six saves) denied Sherando freshman midfielder Lauren Reed on what could have been the game-tying goal with just over two minutes left.
The Pioneers also had a dangerous chance of their own after Beyer (11 saves) came off her line to try to cover up a rebound but Millbrook junior Devan Davis sent her shot just over the crossbar on an empty-net chance in the closing minutes.
“The first half we didn’t come out the way we wanted to,” Smith said. “We couldn’t possess the ball. We kept kicking it out of bounds and turning it over. The second half we kind of regrouped and got our passing back and then the shots were coming more frequently.”
Millbrook dominated possession in the second half, out-shooting Sherando 13-3 in the final 40 minutes. But in the first half, the shots were almost even with the Pioneers holding a 6-5 advantage.
The Pioneers never trailed in the match, scoring their first goal off a throw-in near the left corner.
Millbrook’s Alysse Hamm took the throw in, launching the ball into the center of the box to sophomore midfielder Casey Ackerman. The 5-foot-8 Ackerman scored on a header to put the Pioneers ahead 1-0 in the 25th minute.
With just over eight minutes left in the half, Sherando evened the score after freshman Alex Snapp blasted a shot from the edge of the 18 and sophomore midfielder Audra Sites re-directed it past Schrader to tie the match 1-1.
“I think we definitely had better chances in the first half,” said Sherando coach Rob Kilmer. “It’s a shame we didn’t finish more.
“It was two athletic teams battling and that one mistake [the foul that resulted in Borlie’s free kick] was the difference in the game. It was a quality finish [by Borlie].”
After beating the Warriors for the first time in 2011, the Pioneers have won six of the last seven against Sherando.
While it’s a big victory, Borlie said her team can’t dwell on it because Millbrook still needs to face the Warriors in Stephens City on May 1 and then possibly face them for a third time in the postseason.
“It’s a good win because Sherando’s a great team,” Borlie said. “Sherando has some great players and Iknow their keeper was out — Mari [Maribeth Stotler-Watkins] — who is very, very good.
“They have a solid team, so it’s always nice to get a win over a good team. Being a district game makes it even sweeter, but we know that we’re going to have to play them at least one more time — and probably two [in the district tournament].”
— Contact Robert Stocks at email@example.com
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