Kara Haas scored the Sandcrabs' lone goal.
For the opening kick to the final buzzer, Kara Haas’ body ached. The same could be said for the rest of her teammates on Seabreeze’s girls soccer team.
Three days prior to taking the field against rival Flagler Palm Coast, the Sandcrabs played arguably their toughest match of the season: They took on Spruce Creek — on the road.
The Sandcrabs expended a lot of energy, both mental and physical, in their attempt to match the Hawks. The Sandcrabs lost 1-0 on Jan. 18.
Still, against the Bulldogs on Jan. 21 (this time on their home field at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex), they powered through their aching muscles and sore joints.
The Sandcrabs played the Bulldogs relatively even in the opening half. However, a late goal by FPC’s Taylor Murphy gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead entering half time.
Haas evened the score 8 minutes into the second half.
The junior received a cross from teammate Riley Stoner. Haas’ initial shot ricocheted off the right post. It bounced back to her, and she put the second attempt into the back of the net.
The Sandcrabs had an opportunity to win the game in the match’s final moments. Stoner, a sophomore, slipped behind the Bulldogs’ defense with 15 seconds remaining in the game. She ripped a kick from well beyond the box as the seconds ticked away.
It was a line drive — but it curved away at the last moment, just missing the left goal post.
The Sandcrabs played the Bulldogs to a draw. It was their third tie this season.
“These past two games were really hard for us,” Seabreeze head coach Kim Merkel said. “I think the girls just came out a little flat.”
Haas added that the team was basically running on fumes after playing against Spruce Creek.
“We could have beat FPC, but I couldn’t really ask for anything more,” she said. “We got beat up a lot in the previous game.”
The tough schedule to close the season has taken its toll, but it has had its benefits, however. Haas said it’s helped push the team to compete harder than usual.
In addition, the opening round of the district playoffs begins on Thursday, Jan. 24.
“We have a great future ahead of us if we keep working as hard as we have these past two games,” Haas said. “ We can go pretty far.”