The Bulldogs rallied with two second-half goals.
By BOB ROTH
POLAND -- The Howland and Poland girls soccer teams played a fierce defensive battle, resulting in a 2-2 tie Wednesday in a Metro Athletic Conference game.
The first half, by way of territory and scoring, belonged to Howland, which took a 1-0 lead when sophomore wing Annastacia Filippidis scored from 14 yards at the 34:37 mark.
"Barb Lewis hit me with a good pass and I sent it to the far corner with a hope that it would go," Filippidis said.
That lead held up until there was only 17:46 remaining in the contest, when Poland senior Natalie Ludt hit a short shot from in the box that evaded senior goalkeeper Darcy Quinlan of Howland.
"I was anxious to score and bounced a shot and didn't realize that it got over Quinlan's head in the net," Ludt said.
With 16:43 remaining, Sarah Mangiarelli boomed a 25-yard kick to the righthand corner of the Poland goal that curved over the outstretched hands of junior goalkeeper Landry Yankle, giving Howland a 2-1 lead.
"I took a good pass and drilled it aiming for the back post," said Mangiarelli, a senior, of her team-leading 10th goal of the season.
A penalty gave Poland senior and team veteran Taryn Carlson a chance to score, and she kicked the ball into the net past Quinlan from directly in front of the goal with 14:23 remaining to pull the Bulldogs into a 2-2 tie.
"I knew the ball had to be low and to a corner and I changed the direction of my kick at the very last second," Carlson said.
Not happy with tie
Neither coach was happy with the tie.
Howland's Gary L. Anderson said, "I feel we outplayed them most of the game, but a break here and there and we had to settle for a tie."
Howland (5-2-2, 2-1-2 MAC) was hoping to avenge a 3-2 home loss to Poland on Aug. 29.
Poland (6-1-1, 3-1-1) was undefeated coming into this week, but absorbed its first loss to Canfield Monday, 1-0.
"I was disappointed with our first-half play, and at halftime I told our captains they had to step it up," Poland coach Jim Sutman said. "Once we were even, I wanted more than a tie because now, with our [loss to Canfield] the MAC title goes through Canfield."
Howland had 14 shots on goal, with Mangiarelli's six leading the way. Carlson had the same number of shots for Poland, which had 17 shots on goal, including 10 in the second half.
Quinlan made 10 saves for Howland, giving her 98 for the season; while Yankle, who had a sensational save of an out-of-bounds kick with 27:12 remaining in the game, finished with nine saves for Poland.
"We pulled together in the second half," Yankle said. "I was stopping everything, but those corner kicks gave me a lot of trouble."
Outstanding defensive play was the order of the evening on both sides of the field, with Stephanie Cornicelli, Emily Phipps, Katie Beil and Kristy Krezeczowski coming up big for the Tigers.
Krista Ginnetti, Christa Nash, Ludt and Carlson were part of a staunch Poland defense.