Bulldogs eliminate top-seeded Kent Island
STEVENSVILLE — Becca Gibbons wasn’t sure what she had just done.
Gibbons knew her penalty kick was all good and legitimate as it settled into the upper-right corner of the net. But it wasn’t until she turned and saw her teammates charging toward her from midfield that Gibbons realized her penalty kick had secured a shootout victory for North Caroline High’s girls’ soccer team Tuesday night, Oct 30, over top-seeded Kent Island in a Class 2A East Section II semifinal at Andy Schipul Stadium.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Gibbons said after she scored North Caroline’s third penalty kick of the shootout. “I froze for a second. I wasn’t sure what just happened.”
After 80 minutes of scoreless regulation, and two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods, both teams selected five players for the shootout.
North Caroline went first and Tanya Haro steered a shot into the upper-right corner of the net past the lunge of Kent Island goalkeeper Madi Banks for a goal.
Kent Island’s first shooter, KK Karns, sent her PK over the net, but the Buccaneers (104) were still in good shape as Banks leaped left to stop Pearl Sutton’s shot on North Caroline’s second attempt. Kent Island second attempt missed the mark, though, as Morgan Gunn hit a low hard shot that struck the left post, keeping the Bulldogs in front by one.
North Caroline’s Kylie Phillips drilled her PK into the upper left corner to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the shootout. Kent Island’s third shooter, McKenzie Mogel, then sent a shot that sailed wide left, setting up Gibbons.
“You run out there and try to get the jitters out, but you can’t not be ner vous,” Gibbons said. “I stuck with what I was practicing and it worked thank goodness.
“I was just so excited,” Gibbons added. “That was a really tough game. We’ve been working really hard for a long time and that was just a sweet, sweet victory.”
A victory that looked like it might never come.
Both Banks (12 saves) and North Caroline’s Alyssa Deck (14 saves) were outstanding throughout, surviving collisions as they charged from their goals to grab shots or lead passes that had gone too far before an opponent’s foot could provide a potential scoring touch.
“Both keepers played excellent games,” Kent Island head coach Mike Leach said.
Kent Island almost took a 1-0 lead in the
16th minute when Charlotte Kratovil sent a cross from right wing that skipped right through the goal crease, only to be cleared by the Bulldogs.
Five minutes later, Sutton blasted a drive from about 20 yards away that just slipped over the crossbar. Less than two minutes later, North Caroline’s Sydney Baker missed converting a cross at the left post, keeping the game scoreless.
Six minutes after that, Banks sprinted of f her goal line and smothered a ball before getting run over my a teammate and a North Caroline striker. Banks again gave chase with 7:45 left in the first half, reaching a ball just before getting slammed into by Baker and Hailey Chester.
“Phenomenal,” North Caroline head coach Joe Bildstein said of the two keepers. “We had five point-blank shots. Madi was great. Both goalies were just ... I mean there were collisions, run-ins. Shots off the crossbar. What can you say?
Deck kept it scoreless, leaping to punch away a shot with her right hand with 3 minutes left in the first half, then scrambling to retrieve a rebound after a shot by Karns.
Banks foiled Sarah Ferkler in the fourth minute of the second half, then batted away Haro’s bid for a goal off a direct kick five minutes later. It remained a scoreless stalemate as Deck reached a through ball just before getting crashed into by Mogel with three minutes remaining in regulation.
In the second OT, Kent Island’s Ally Heath struck a header over the crossbar off a corner. Then with under two minutes remaining, the Bucs’ Blair Goodrich hit a shot that almost broke the goal line but was saved by Deck.
“Great bunch of girls,” said Bildstein, who would fight back tears soon after when his son, Joey, came up from behind and delivered a big embrace. “We gave them a game plan and they stuck with it.
“It feels like the feeling we had last year; we beat Parkside to get to Queen Anne’s,” Coach Bildstein added. “And it looks like we are going to meet up with them again.”
North Caroline High’s girls’ soccer team celebrates Tuesday night, Oct. 30, after defeating Kent Island in a shootout in a Class 2A East Section II semifinal.