FORT COLLINS — The result wasn't exactly what the Boulder Panthers wanted on Thursday night at French Field, but the effort might be just what the doctor ordered.
Coach Jason LaMere's team played one of its best matches of the season and walked away with a 1-1 draw against Poudre.
"We played good soccer. We knocked the ball around, we had possession, we won 50/50 balls and we did everything, we just didn't find the back of the net," said LaMere, whose team is now 1-3-2 overall and 1-2-1 in the deep Front Range League. "It seems to be a bit of a theme for us.
"I feel like we are playing good soccer, we've got heart, we've got skill and we just need to find the back of the net. And that is the game of soccer, sometimes you just go through streaks like this."
And despite all the positives that came out of the match, the Panthers still found themselves trailing 1-0 early in the second half.
Poudre's talented striker Allie Gray got behind the Panthers defense on a counterattack and the Davidson-bound senior was able to finally get something past keeper Elise Thomason-Larsen in the 43rd minute.
Thomason-Larsen, who was called up to duty from the JV roster for the match, kept her team in the contest in the first half. Twice she denied Gray with big saves, the first in the 7th minute, making a diving stop on another 1-on-1 opportunity.
"We are in a bit of a goalie disaster right now, but what a game for her, she made some huge saves for us," LaMere said. "She really stepped up."
Less than seven minutes after the Impalas broke the ice, Boulder was able to equalize. Ally Murphy-Pauletto took a chance from distance and her well placed shot beat Poudre goalie Monique Roche high. The ball hit the bar and deflected straight down. The side official saw that it clearly crossed the line, after the center did not, and awarded the goal.
"I was thinking upper-90. I just put my head down and it was a clean strike," said Murphy-Pauletto, who bagged her second goal of the season. "I was a little nervous there for a second, but I saw and I think it went over the line."
It seemed to open the offensive floodgates for Boulder, which controlled the midfield and was very creative in the final third over the last 30 minutes of regulation.
Roche was forced to make big time saves on shots by Lauren Moss and Emma Dooley down the stretch to preserve the tie.
"The overall aura of the team this game was a lot higher than it has been lately," Murphy-Pauletto said. "And our confidence is now really high coming off of that second half and it should impact us in the future as well."
Neither team created quality chances in the 20 minutes of overtime.
Boulder will be back on the field Tuesday at home against Greeley West. The Spartans are currently winless in the FRL.
Boulder 1, Poudre 1, 2OT
At French FieldBoulder (1-3-2, 1-2-1) 0 1 0 0 — 1
Poudre (2-3-1, 2-1-1) 0 1 0 0 — 1
Goals (assists) — Poudre: Alli Gray (unassisted), 43rd minute; Boulder: Ally Murphy-Pauletto (unassisted), 50th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder: Elise Thomason-Larsen (100-1-9); Poudre: Monique Roche (100-1-12).