ELLSWORTH – Bentworth celebrated Senior Night on Wednesday and clinched at least a share of its third girls soccer section title under head coach Tyler Hamstra.
And for the third time, it did so against rival Chartiers-Houston as the Bearcats won 3-2 in overtime in a Section 2-A thriller.
“I expected this type of game,” said Hamstra, who is in his sixth year as Bentworth head coach. “They are a good team and if they played everyone as hard as they play us, they would be very hard to beat.
“It is a little more special because it is against them again.”
Chartiers-Houston head coach Bob Acor expected a close match.
“This is what you expect when you play your nemesis,” he said. “They are really good and I told the girls that after playing the section champs like that, they have nothing to hang their heads about.”
Jocelyn Timlin scored all three goals for Bentworth (10-0, 14-1) and the senior could not hold back her emotion.
“This is probably the highest high school memory,” she said with tears in her eyes. “To beat them to win the section, on our Senior Night, it means everything.”
Bentworth controlled the match early, but it was not able to find the net during an early flurry.
The Bucs (8-2, 10-6) took a 1-0 lead with 22:46 to go in the first half when Lexi Durkacs placed the ball above the outstretched arms of Bentworth goalkeeper Jasmine Manning.
It was the first goal given up by the Bearcats in section play this year.
Bentworth finally scored when Caroline Rice played a ball forward to Timlin and she buried a shot past CH goalkeeper Madison Smith to tie the match at 1-1 with 13:02 to play in the first half.
The later in the second half the match went, the more physical it became. Bentworth’s Rice was given a red card with 9:20 to play and the Bucs played with a one-person advantage the rest of the way.
Chartiers-Houston took a 2-1 lead with 6:49 to play in the second half when Durkacs played the ball on net from 25 yards and placed it above the outstretched arms of Manning.
Timlin, however, would not let Durkacs outdo her.
Bentworth, playing with a sudden desperation, pushed the ball in deep and Timlin drilled a shot past Smith with 4:14 to go from the right side of the pitch into the left side of the back of the net to tie the score.
The contest went into overtime, and the Bearcats did not waste any time.
Timlin ended the match, and gave the Bearcats the section crown, when she scored on a pass from Paige Marshalek.
The ball was played from 30 yards out and both Timlin and Smith ran toward it. Timlin arrived at the ball a split second earlier and played it past Smith to end the game in front of a vociferous crowd.
Bentworth senior midfielder Rori Schreiber, who left the match in the second half with a lower leg injury but returned, helped control the midfield for long stretches and spoke about the win.
“This is an amazing feeling,” she said. “We have been playing together since we were four and this was a goal for us.
“We will remember this win forever.”
Hamstra has been working with the girls since they were in fifth grade.
“I am so happy for them,” he said. “They work so hard and deserve this.”
With the next Bentworth section win or Chartiers-Houston section loss, the Bearcats will clinch the 2-A crown outright.