Tallmadge -- The Woodridge girls soccer team made the opening statement.

Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, it was Tallmadge that had final say.

Woodridge fell to 7-5 after losing to Tallmadge 2-1 Sept. 26 at Tallmadge Middle School's Thomas Rossiaky Stadium.

The Lady Bulldogs, who earned a 2-1 victory over Coventry Sept. 22 in Akron to improve to 3-2 in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division, stunned the Lady Blue Devils with a goal a little more than 90 seconds into the game.

But Tallmadge (7-0-4) found the equalizer less than 19 minutes later and got what turned out to be the winning goal late in the first half.

"We play very similar to Tallmadge," Lady Bulldogs head coach Jason Allenspach said. "I do believe this is one of Tallmadge's best teams. Give credit to Tallmadge. They are a well-coached team. They [the Lady Blue Devils] settled down after we got the first goal."

Woodridge defeated Tallmadge 2-0 last year at Lahoski Field.

Tallmadge dictated the pace for much of the evening, but the Lady Bulldogs struck first.

After sophomore Hailey Ilg's shot hit the crossbar, teammate Gracey Radwany, a senior, got the rebound and poked the ball into the left corner of the net just 93 seconds into the match.

"The one thing we didn't want to do is get off to a slow start and give up an early goal," Lady Blue Devils head coach Steve Davis said. "Jason does a nice job with that team. We knew it was going to be a tough game."

But the momentum shifted later in the evening.

Tallmadge tied the game on a corner kick less than 19 minutes later.

Senior forward Rochelle Haught took the kick from the right side. Her kick was volleyed into the net by senior defender Ally Warmenhoven, whose boot was ripped into the lower right side of the net.

Warmenhoven wasn't done.

With 3:35 remaining in the first half, junior forward Sara Johnson was fouled in the Lady Bulldogs' box.

Warmenhoven took the penalty kick and again found the lower right side of the net to give the Lady Blue Devils a 2-1 lead.

While both teams had their opportunities, the scoreboard did not change the rest of the way.

"I thought it was a fair result," Allenspach said. "We had that silly foul on the PK. We're more of a possession team. We knew we had to deal with their speed."

Tallmadge controlled possession for much of the game and had other chances to score. The Lady Blue Devils had a few shots go just over or just wide of the goal.

Woodridge also had some chances.

With about 22 minutes remaining in the game, Radwany dribbled inside the box, made a move and had only Tallmadge sophomore goalkeeper Maria Kisha in front of her.

Radwany smashed a hard line drive that Kisha was able to knock down and keep away from the net.

Radwany's bullet was Kisha's lone save of the match. Lady Bulldogs' senior keeper Mary Bates made five saves.

The Lady Blue Devils had a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams had two corner kicks.

Against Coventry, the Lady Bulldogs trailed 1-0 at halftime.

But Woodridge rallied in the second half, thanks to goals by senior Cassie Whited and sophomore Emily Austin.

Bates finished with four saves and both teams took six shots on goal. The Lady Bulldogs had a 3-0 edge in corner kicks.

With the season more than halfway over, Allenspach hopes his team can finish strong. That's especially important since he has a very strong bond with his girls.

"I love this team," Allenspach said. "They are a great group of ladies. I have nine wonderful seniors who are the heart of soul of this team."

Woodridge was scheduled to host Metro Division rival Norton Sept. 29. Results were not available at press time.

The Lady Bulldogs are set to entertain Metro Division foe Springfield Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.

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