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Draw strikes Batavia, Geneva girls soccer differently

GENEVA – One coach called it a positive result. The other called it frustrating.

But regardless of how each side was feeling, the Geneva and Batavia girls soccer teams walked away with the same result Tuesday.

The Vikings and Bulldogs played to a 1-1 tie on a rainy night, meaning neither of these Upstate Eight Conference River Division rivals will be able to claim bragging rights this season.

There were few scoring opportunities all night, one plagued by slick conditions after a day-long downpour soaked the turf field and everything around it.

Geneva (6-7-1, 0-2-1 UEC River) got on the board first when senior Molly Axen converted an easy tap-in after senior Amanda Lulek’s pass went across the goal mouth with less than seven minutes remaining in the first half.

But Batavia (6-2-3, 2-2-1) wanted to answer quickly, and the Bulldogs did just that, scoring just less than three minutes in to the second half.

Senior Shelby Stone took a long shot from outside the penalty box, but it was high and straight on and bounced off the hands of a jumping Samantha Hauser, Geneva’s junior goalkeeper, into the net for a goal.

“Like we talked about at halftime, we wanted to come out fast,” Stone said. “That’s always our goal, but this time we proved it to ourselves and everyone else that we can come out hard. And we finished our opportunity that we had. We probably could’ve finished more. We would have loved to finish more. But you take what you can get, and we’re happy with the result.

“To score against the neighboring school, it’s always 10 times more exciting to score against them. It came out and helped us in the end. I’m thrilled.”

Stone’s score tied the score at 1, and that’s where it remained when 80 minutes of soccer were up.

“We played well, we fought hard,” Geneva coach Megan Owens said. “This spring’s been a little rough. It’s just frustrating to see them score a goal like they did, but that’s what happens when it’s wet. You’ve got to be alert, you’ve got to back up your keeper, and you’ve got to put shots on frame. Obviously, with the Tri-Cities rivalries, it’s always big competition. Both sides really fought hard.”

Both teams are searching for better results as the season winds down.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Stone said. “Hopefully, we can play like this, but just a touch better in the end of games. We try to come out and play for 80 minutes. I think we did that – a little bit slow in the beginning – but we tried our best and we did all right.”

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