CLARKSBURG — Freshman Cassie Triplett scored twice in the second half, the final coming with 8:15 remaining, to key Philip Barbour to a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over Liberty in Big 10 Conference girls soccer action Tuesday at the John Mazzei-James L. Reaser Athletic Complex.
The Mountaineers had built a 2-0 lead at the intermission on goals from forwards Ashlynn Carpenter and Camryn Starkey.
But Triplett’s breakaway goal as she came in from the left wing broke the ice for the Colts with 24:00 to play, and set the tone for a frantic finish.
Philip Barbour pressed the action even harder during the final 20 minutes, and tied it when senior midfielder Brittany Wentz scored from 20 yards out with 10:48 to play.
Wentz took advantage of some sloppy ballhandling by the Mountaineers to launch the shot, which Liberty keeper Tiffany Flanigan managed to tip. The ball then careened off the bottom of the cross bar and Flanigan covered it up, but not before it slipped just inside the goal.
Buoyed by the game-tying goal, the Colts were determined to take advantage of the momentum that had clearly swung to their favor.
Pressing the action even more, the Colts finally completed their comeback with an all-out assault on the Liberty net that ended when Triplett and teammate Carli Reed stood side-by-side at at the left corner post when the ball trickled out of a pile of players about eight yards in front of the net.
Triplett was credited with the goal, although Reed appeared to touch it also, and was given an assist on the play.
“I think our depth really wore on them,” PB coach Pete Ferguson said. “They have a really nice team and both of their forwards are extremely fast.
“But we were able to keep at it until we finally broke through.”
The Mountaineers had two more legitimate chances at goals, the final when Carpenter’s break-away just missed left of the post with 5:54 to play.
Philip Barbour keeper Bailey Heubi rushed to meet Carpenter on the play.
“That’s really all we could do at that point — get wide and hope for the best because she’s so fast,” Ferguson said. “They missed a couple there at the end, but we had a couple that just missed as well.”
Carpenter started the scoring when she took a cross from Starkey and slipped the ball past Huebi with 15:26 to play in the first half. Starkey’s pass came after another solid pass from Jessica Carder.
Starkey then made it 2-0 at the 2:15 mark when Carpenter chipped a penalty kick that caught Starkey in perfect stride past the PB defense with a straight shot at the goal.
“We knew we could get some breakaways on them,” Liberty coach Aaron Wolfe said. “We had two really good chances at the end and we had two or three more early in the game. But we just didn’t finish like we’re capable of doing.”
Flanigan ended with nine saves for the Mountaineers (8-7-2), who also got a stellar effort from junior Kaitlynn Mayle along the back line of the defense. Heubi had four saves for the Colts, who improved to 11-9.
Sports writer Greg Talkington can be reached at 304-626-1444 or by email at email@example.com