SURVIVE AND ADVANCE

October 24, 2018
By: Erica Rose
A tale of two halves: that is exactly what fans saw Tuesday night at BASD Stadium when the 8th-seeded Liberty Hurricanes welcomed in the 9th-seeded Cardinals of Pocono Mountain East.  The Hurricanes, who defeated the Cardinals 1-0 during the regular season, came out firing in this one.  And, after a two-goal lead not even 15 minutes in, it appeared the Hurricanes would take this second match-up even more easily.  That was not the case.  In fact, the defense ended up being the bigger story in this one, as they kept the Hurricanes on top in the first half and goalkeeper Bridgette MacDonald from having a few regrets.  Twice, MacDonald came out of goal and was beat, but twice the defense stepped up big time.  

The second half was nothing like the first for the Hurricanes.  This time, it was the Cardinals who came out strong offensively, and this time they were awarded for the hard work.  Ten minutes into the second half, they were awarded the PK and Maci Raymond made it count going right, as MacDonald went left.  The shots would continue for the Cardinals.  It was as if the Hurricanes thought they already had this one in the bag.  Fortunately for them, they did – once again thanks to the defense.  However, the Cardinals almost made them pay for taking their foot off the pedal.  

The win means that the Hurricanes advance to the Quarterfinals, where they will take on top-seeded Parkland, who had a first round bye, on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  The Trojans won 3-0 in the regular season.  IF and that’s a big IF – the Hurricanes play like they did for the first 20 minutes of last night’s game for the entire 60 against Parkland, I would say they have a pretty good shot to pull off the upset.  But one mistake and the Trojans will make them pay.  Do the Hurricanes have the stamina to play that intense for a full 60? I’m thinking not.  I also think that Parkland Head Coach Al Haddad is a tremendous coach, and will have the Trojans ready for whatever the Hurricanes try to bring at them.