By Nate Smith Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — SULLIVAN — Washington Catholic’s girls soccer team gave North Knox all they could handle, but the Warriors prevailed at the Sullivan Class A girls sectional, 2-1, on penalty kicks.
North Knox will take on South Knox in the final as the Warriors won on penalty kicks, 4-3. The Cardinals made its first three penalty kicks, and keeper Sydney Dunbar had caught a Warrior kick, but the final two WC kickers, Christina Smith and Macy Kane, had agonizing misses to tip the game to North Knox.
The Cardinals would be first on the scoreboard from a beautiful bending shot from senior Elizabeth Perkins that confused Warriors keeper Alivia Held and found the top corner. The score from the fourth minute would hold until late.
North Knox equalized late in the 31st minute when a long shot from Elysa Moreland bounced off Dunbar’s hands and into the net. WC would threaten late in the half on successive corner kicks in the last minute and continued the attack early in the second half with shots from Perkins and Lauren Mathies, but both would just curl away from the NK net.
WC assistant coach Jeff Williams said. Head coach Kelly Neace was unavailable for comment as she had to tend to an injured player.
“We felt like it was all we could ask for,” Williams said. “When you look back on it, it was a lot of missed opportunities. I think we outshot them. We just didn’t capitalize on the opportunities we had.”
Seniors Morgan Smith and Vibeke Salmelid controlled the WC midfield, looking for those opportunities but freshman Michelle Dinkins and the NK defense held until the 16th minute when Salmelid had a run on Held but couldn’t capitalize. A few minutes later, Kane had a shot but curled wide. That was most of the attack in the second as Perkins was double-marked for most of the half.
Close to the 30-minute mark in the second, WC found a second wind. Perkins had a shot in the 32nd, but Held swatted away. In the 35th, Morgan Smith also had a shot, but was found in front of the keeper.
WC freshmen Christina Smith and Laura Taylor anchored the Cardinal defense as Dunbar had little work to go in the second half until the 37th minute, when Dunbar and Olivia Williams misplayed a ball in the penalty area. Moreland had a shot, but sailed high.
Perkins countered a minute later, but Held made the save. North Knox’s Emily Cook had a chance in the final minute and appeared to score, but the referee called a foul that disallowed the goal.
Perkins opened the offense in the first overtime period and the Cardinals pressed the attack. Kane also found an opportunity, but was wide. In the sixth minute, Salmelid was fouled. Perkins tried for goal and hit the near post, bouncing out. Both teams, worn out from 87 minutes, tried furiously to find the goal but could not in that second overtime.
South Knox won the first game over South Vermillion, 2-1. The final is at 6 p.m. Saturday.