Galena girls soccer edges Douglas
Heck of a way to end a soccer game.
The phrase fell from the lips of just about everyone surrounding the sidelines after Galena defeated the Douglas girls soccer team on penalty kicks in the Northern 4A State semifinals Thursday night at Carson High School.
After playing through 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, only two things became readily apparent.
Someone was going to have to lose this epic battle, and it was going to be a real shame when someone did.
Galena’s sixth kicker, Emily Bedell, put the ball on the ground just inside the right post to give the Grizzlies the 4-3 advantage in the shootout period.
Caitlyn Anderson, Galena’s outstanding goalkeeper, then blocked the next Douglas penalty kick to seal up the win for the Grizzlies.
“What can I say?” Galena coach Ron Jones said. “You had two very good teams out there and it was tough on both sides of the ball.
“It’s unfortunate that it goes to a shootout. It’s a hard way to end a contest, but you have to do it, because you don’t want people to start getting hurt. We just have nothing but the utmost respect for Douglas.”
Anderson proved to be the difference maker for the Grizzlies and Douglas pressured the Galena net relentlessly through the second half and kept the ball in the Galena end for most of the game.
Anderson didn’t falter once under pressure, and even came up with two saves during the shootout.
“We did everything but put the ball in the net tonight, and that was the difference,” Douglas coach Fred Schmidt said. “We couldn’t finish, we couldn’t score.
“We had our chances but their goalkeeper was outstanding. She was everywhere.
“Any time you hit a hot goalkeeper in the playoffs that plays that well, it’s pretty hard to win. All we needed was one goal and we couldn’t even get that today.”
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Tigers, who left absolutely everything on the field.
“I can’t say enough about how well they played and how much class they showed,” Schmidt said. “There were a lot of tears after this game, but we sure didn’t get beat on the field.
“Unfortunately, you don’t win based on if you outplay the other team or if you out-possess the other team. You win because you get it in the goal. That’s the cruelty of soccer.
“When you can’t decide it after 110 minutes, there has to be some way of resolving it, as much as everyone hates going to penalty kicks.”
Allison Chapman, Morgan LeFever, Krysten Bartshe, Courtney Lenhart, Jessica Maule and Christina Bradshaw combined to put together some incredible runs leading to some fantastic scoring chances throughout the game.
On defense, Alicia Sturgess played sensational soccer all night and teamed with Alison Pyne to help bolster the offensive attack.
Savannah Gray, Meghan Olsen, Lorelei Gettman, Bianca Gillespie and Rachael Tappen made significant contributions to both the offensive and defensive attacks and Samantha Perry continued solid play at stopper for the Tigers.
Hillary Winans was flawless in net for the Tigers and got beat on four tough shots from the Grizzlies in the shootout. She also came up with a big save on one of the free kicks, helping Douglas claw back into the match after falling back 2-1.
“She came up big for us all night,” Schmidt said. “There was a lot of pressure, and everyone felt it.
“Every kid who wanted to take a kick got one. There wasn’t any magic formula. Everyone who didn’t make it feels really bad, but it wasn’t anyone’s fault.”
Galena advances to Saturday’s state championship game at 2 p.m. at Carson High School.
Douglas dropped to 14-3-1 overall on the season.