REINBECK - Friends off the field and members of the same club teams on it, the Rebels and Pirates seem to bring out the best in one another.
Or at the very least, keep things interesting to the finish.
With all three of last year's meetings between the Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Hudson girls soccer teams decided by one goal, Tuesday didn't disappoint.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Emily Snider scores her first of three second-half goals Tuesday on a free kick in the 43rd minute. Snider had four goals as the Class 1A No. 14 ranked Rebels improved to 3-0.
Playing up to their moniker of a 'second half team', the Class 1A No. 14 ranked Rebels rallied from a 3-1 halftime deficit to edge the No. 12 Pirates in a 5-4 triumph.
Emily Snider scored three of her four goals after halftime - as G-R reached the back of the net three times in a five-minute span to claim a 4-3 lead in the 48th minute.
Spreading things out offensively and closing down on the Pirates (2-1) defensively, Gladbrook-Reinbeck (3-0) directed the ship in the second half.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck 5, Hudson 4
Hud - Olivia Verhulst, 2nd
G-R - Emily Snider (Kyleah Dugan), 3rd
Hud - Kortney Craig, 9th
Hud - Verhulst, 37th
G-R - Snider, 43th
G-R - Snider (Dugan), 45th
G-R - Dugan (Madison Corwin), 48th
Hud - Verhulst (Julia Headington), 74th
G-R - Snider (Hanna Christopher), 77th
"They started communicating a little better and decided to keep some space and width," G-R coach Cheryl Pease said of her squad. "We took a look at Hudson's best players and put a little more pressure on them. We beefed up our defense and put some speed in the back."
Pease added some quickness to her backline by switching left striker Nicole Adair to defense.
Snider kept things moving up front and ignited the Rebels' run early in the second half on a free kick. Firing from well beyond the penalty area, the two-time All-State second team selection launched the ball over the head of Pirates goalkeeper Haylee Krogh to pull the home team within one in the 43rd minute. The senior Rebel struck again just two minutes later on a deft pass from Kyleah Dugan (2 assists), before returning the favor to the sophomore in the 48th.
"Emily is the hub of the wheel for this team," Pease said of her senior star, who will continue her career at Cornell College next season. "She inspires everyone with her abilities and she gives 200 percent all the time. The girls model themselves after her."
Following Snider's lead, the Rebels continued to put the pressure on the Pirates throughout the second half, though a minor crack in the defense proved to be all Hudson needed to even things up. Olivia Verhulst completed her hat trick on a pass from Julia Headington to knot the score with just more than 6 minutes to play - signaling extra time might be necessary.
Snider had other plans.
Chasing down a lob pass from Alyssa Christopher, Snider one-touched the ball past Krogh in the 87th minute to secure the victory for the Rebels and a sense of relief for the senior.
"To be honest it scared me," Snider said of Hudson's late equalizer. "The momentum came our way and we relaxed. We just can't do that. We have to learn from that as we go on in the season."
The momentum was firmly in the favor of Hudson in the opening 40 minutes as it never trailed and built a two-goal cushion heading into the break. Verhulst corralled a long throw in and sent it past Erin Wentzien for a 1-0 lead in the second minute, before Snider responded moments later on an assist from Dugan. Kortney Craig shot one into the upper netting in the ninth minute and Verhulst tacked on another in the 37th minute.
The early deficit didn't catch Pease off guard as she's seen her squad start slow before.
"(Hudson) has talented players and an extremely talented coach," Pease said. "For us it was a gut check. We're a second half team and we tend to come out a little flat in the first half."
Following their senior leader, the Rebels played like one while passing a crucial early season exam along the way.
"It really tested how we handle adversity," Snider said. "We came out and said, 'this isn't happening' and came back strong."
The Rebels face their next test against Waverly-Shell Rock on the road Thursday before hosting Union Friday. Both matches start at 5:30 p.m.
The Gladbrook-Reinbeck team is wearing yellow laces this season in honor of fellow student Noah Ohrt, who is currently battling cancer. ... Snider had her third hat trick of the year, raising her season total to 14 goals. ... Hudson won the season series last year - taking two of three matches. The Pirates won 3-2 in Hudson and 1-0 at the Waverly Tournament, before the Rebels claimed an 8-7 win in Reinbeck.