ALTHOFF — Two teams with similar records but different approaches met Thursday when Triad visited Althoff in a nonconference girls soccer game.
After a scoreless first half, the possession-oriented Knights and the Crusaders, who employ a more physical style, both managed goals early in the second half before driving rain ended the contest and forced the teams to be content with a 1-1 tie.
"Really, looking at the whole game, I think 1-1 was very deserving," said Crusaders coach Juergen Huettner, whose team is 8-4-2. "They were definitely a good team. We can't complain about a 1-1 tie, and I think they were OK with it, too.
"We were a little more physical; they were moving the ball very well even when the field conditions were anything but ideal. Triad is definitely a team that likes to move the ball."
The game was called with 15 minutes left in the second half. Light rain became heavy, accompanied by strong, gusting wind.
Sophomore Shannon Maitland, fighting a hip injury that has limited her playing time to dead-ball situations in the last week, scored in traffic inside the box off a corner kick to put Althoff ahead 1-0 at 45 minutes, 55 seconds. It was Maitland's eighth goal of the season.
Triad (8-4-3) got the equalizer at 54:03 when junior Kailey Duncan scored in front of the left post --her sixth goal of the season. Moments later, the skies opened.
"The first half, we weren't dangerous enough; we didn't create enough opportunities," first-year Triad coach Matt Bettlach said. "We possessed the ball and did some nice things, but we didn't get any shots on target. That's one of the things we were looking to do in the second half.
"Then they got a goal, so it kind of deflated us a little bit. But the girls bounced back and we got a nice goal by Kailey Duncan. I'm happy with the way they came back."
The Knights enjoyed most of the possession in the first half. Crusaders senior keeper Kelly Brahmbhatt tipped a shot over the crossbar 18 minutes into the game, and eight minutes later, she mishandled a save opportunity before falling on the loose ball.
Bettlach said it's become a familiar story, although the Knights are in control of the Mississippi Valley Conference.
"That's kind of been our M.O. this year," he said. "We play well, (but) we're not dangerous. Then the other team scores and we're battling back."
Huettner was impressed that Bettlach wanted to end the game at a time when the Knights were enjoying the better of the play. Under the conditions, however, there wasn't much of an option.
"The momentum was on his side, there's no question," Huettner said. "For him to make a decision like that ... there are some coaches out there that take more interest in the kids than winning the game."