BOILING SPRINGS — It took 64 minutes for something to give in Tuesday night’s soccer match between Boiling Springs and Waynesboro.
It took 64 minutes for an Maidens defender to body check Maddie Hughes. Hard.
Hard enough to send her flying in a cartwheel, she said, through the air before she landed flat to the ground. And despite the boos and jeers from the Waynesboro faithful, Hughes was awarded a penalty kick.
Hughes knocked one past Kiaya Mouer to give the Bubblers (6-0, 4-0 Colonial) the 1-0 lead, and the winning goal.
“When I was running through, I saw that the ball had gone through both of the defenders,” Hughes said, recalling the exact moment she was hit. “I saw my opportunity to sprint through, so I went through them and I beat the girl that was behind me. Then the one girl apparently hip-checked me and I apparently did a cartwheel through the air and I went down.
“I really didn’t know if I wanted to take the PK or not — I was a little shaken up, a little lightheaded. But my teammates had confidence in me ... so I took it and placed it like we had been practicing.”
Bubbler head coach Steve Brookens and the rest of the team were relieved she took the PK, especially given the history with a team like Waynesboro (2-3, 1-2). According to Brookens, the Maidens have always given them trouble and kept games close. Frustrating, if you will.
“They’ve always played us tough and defensively — they just shut everything down and really make it hard to score,” he said. “It frustrates us when you’re trying to score, and when you’re playing against that, you get frustrated. We just hung in there and, fortunately, we got a penalty kick out of it.”
Boiling Springs still sits pretty with a flawless record and get a six-day break, but for Brookens and the Bubblers it gets tougher from here — three games in four days next week against Mechanicsburg (3-1), Big Spring (2-3) and Northern (1-3).
“Sitting at 6-0, that’s really nice. Then having three games in four days, that’ll be a treat,” Brookens said sarcastically. “But, that’s what it’s like.”
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“I think we just have to keep playing hard,” said Hughes about the upcoming stretch. “We came out and we definitely shut them down on defense, our defense played great tonight. ... The defense just staying tight, and we’re starting to get the passes in the middle a lot better, so we combined really well tonight.”
The Bubblers can rest before Monday’s non-league tilt with the Wildcats.