There was a bit of confusion at first because the ball had a lot of backspin on it and came bounding rapidly back into the field of play causing a scramble by both teams to control the ball.
“I’m not going to lie to you, I literally looked at it - didn’t even know what was happening and kicked it,” said McQuiston. “I just kicked it and was like ‘Oh - that just went in.’ I look at Wheels and I’m like, "I don't know how I just did that.”
Wheels is coach Kim Wheeling who is enjoying one of the best seasons in recent memory.
“There are teams we play with kids that have played together since they were four and five. We have kids that jump in as freshmen,” Wheeling said.
“We’re starting to get to the point we’re getting them to play all year with our winter and spring leagues and doing stuff in the summer so it is really starting to be like it was when I started coaching.”
Titusville controlled most of the game Tuesday against Franklin, but more than half dozen shots on goal by the Knights kept Rocket’s keeper Danica Fonzo busy including a stretched-to-the-limit diving stop on what looked like a sure goal early in the second half.
Only a penalty kick from about 20 feet away by Riley Brophy found its way past Fonzo.
At the end of the half Titusville was only up one despite the barrage of shots on goal keeper Olivia Leccia who made stop after stop.
In the second half Addison Burleigh, who had a number of shots in the first half, finally got one confusing one to find the net.
Leccia, who had been brilliant up to this point, appeared to have a lapse of concentration on an easy stop off a weak Burleigh kick that took a bit more of a hop than expected. Leccia was caught off guard as the ball bounced just over her hands as she knelt on the turf.
Burleigh was also surprised but took congratulations, hugs and high fives on her way back to midfield to start the next play.
Burliegh added another later, playing aggressively off a rebound against Franklin’s Kirsten Hicks now in goal.
Graci Sampson added another in the 4-1 win where Titusville had over 20 shots on goal.
Wheeling praised Leccia’s performance in the first half and gave her team a challenge during the break to score at least three second half goals.
“I knew we could do it,” Wheeling said. “We’ve struggled a little of late putting the ball in the net. We worked on a few things this week and started putting it in the net. I think we could’ve had a few more but…”
The Rockets had tied twice and lost in their last three matches after starting 5-1.
“They’ve been working hard in every game we’ve had, even if we didn’t get the win, they played hard (from beginning to end.)”
McQuiston agrees with coach 'Wheels.'
“I’ve been playing since my freshman year,” the junior said. “I have not seen us play like this as a team for a really, really long time and it is just heartwarming to see this team come together and finally be able to do what we can do.”
Wheeling added, “These girls actually want to be out here and want to play and they work at it.”
With eight games remaining, the Rockets stand at 6-2-2 as of Thursday morning.
This puts the Rockets at an impressive 7-2-2 on the season heading into some more tough matchups hosting Corry on Monday and North East on Wednesday. They lost to North East and tied Corry in their first matchups.
“That was a big win for us, considering the fact that we did not play very well and we struggled with defending the formation CASH uses,” said Rocket head coach Kim Wheeling. “CASH is a very good team and they move off the ball very well, which caused problems for us.”
“I am very proud of the way the girls continued to play hard for the whole game and not give up. Each game is still a learning experience for us, so we use that to work on things in practice the next day to help us improve even more.”