Eastview's Cora Smith (center) follows her scoring kick towards Duluth East goaltender Anna Mayer. Smith opened the scoring in the first half, in what ended as a 1-1 draw. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
Nothing seemed to phase Eastview's Cora Smith on Saturday afternoon.
With the clock ticking down and Eastview clinging to a 1-0 lead—on a goal Smith scored—Duluth East (4-2-1, 2-0) sophomore Aubrie Guenther got a ball past the Lightning goalie to send the game into overtime.
Like in her short one year and six-game varsity career to date, Smith wasn't fazed.
Although neither team scored in the overtime and the game ended in a 1-1 tie, Smith and her teammates recovered from the crushing late goal to have the better of the play in the extra sessions.
"It was hard (recovering from a late goal)," Smith said. "But we had to keep our heads in the game and focus on trying to get another goal. We needed to play calm and not rush our passes."
Playing with a cast on her lower arm, Smith embodied the Lightning's approach this season.
"Our slogan this year is fortitude," Eastview (3-2-1, 1-0) coach David Herem said. "Overcoming adversity, staying strong when there is adversity is something we have been preaching in practice."
Smith fought off a defender and netted the game's first goal late in the first half.
"I thought I was going down, but then I just stuck my leg out to tap it in," Smith said. "I guess it went in."
The goal was a score typical of Smith's career.
"That was a grinder's goal," Herem said. "She willed herself to get into position. She willed herself to get by the defender and then she saw a window and put it in there. She almost got another [goal] later just by shear will and got a goal scoring opportunity."
A defender trying to pull her down is nothing new for the sophomore. Players have been trying to take advantage of her injury since the season began.
"I broke my arm playing a game in the summer and have had a cast on my arm ever since," Smith said. "I am used to it now, but girls try to pull on it to pull me back and slow me down."
Slowing her down is something few teams have been able to do. Two days prior against Farmington, Smith netted two goals in a 5-0 victory for the Lightning.
"[As a freshman] she used her speed. She caused people fits just by running," Herem recalled. "Now she is a smarter player. Her speed was her weapon last year, but she has more tools in the toolbox this year."
Just a sophomore, Smith contributed right away when she first stepped on a varsity field as a freshman.
"Just trying to get bigger to be able to play with the bigger girls was a big part of [playing with upper classmen]," Smith said. "I just have to play my heart out every game."
Her effort is something easy for her coach to see.
"Kora plays every game like it is the state championship," Herem said. "She chases every ball like she can get it. Sometimes I think ‘she's not going to get it,' but she gets that ball. She is playing with a cast and a bloody elbow, and she is giving it all she's got."
Duluth East midfielder Aubrie Guenther with a kick from outside the box that would get past Eastview goalie Olivia Johnson, to tie the match at 1-1 with only a minute left in regulation. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
Eastview was less than two minutes away from victory, but a late goal by Duluth East's Aubrie Guenther sent Saturday’s nonconference game into overtime in Apple Valley. Neither team scored during the extra sessions, resulting in a 1-1 tie.
Eastview (3-2-1, 1-0) hit the crossbar three times—twice in the first half—but the Lightning broke through at 3:47 of the first half. Sophomore Cora Smith got free and put a ball under the crossbar to make the score 1-0.
The Lightning survived an early second half push by the Greyhounds, and then a second push with eight minutes remaining.
Eastview’s defense kept Duluth East (4-2-1, 2-0) from finding the net until Guenther's goal tied the game.
Duluth East nearly scored late in the first overtime, but Lightning goalie Olivia Johnson made a diving save to keep the game tied.
Eastview had all the chances in the second overtime, but couldn't get anything through the Greyhounds' defense.
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